When we look around the world we may wonder if God even takes notice of the wickedness all round us. Certainly the psalmist felt that way as he declared,
“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?”
We can have this assurance from our proverb today, and wonder, why does it not seem to apply to so many? When we look outside ourselves this way we run the risk of running afoul of our purpose in Christ. Paul taught the Roman believers, “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:1-4)
The palmist himself wraps up the psalm he begins with such a question with this steadfast resolution:
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.” (v5-6)
Jesus taught a parable to help us understand God’s perspective when it comes to justice, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
God is very interested in justice and hears our prayers. Our proverb tells us that he sees the wickedness in humans, and will throw them down in ruin. This may bring us comfort, but it should also give us pause. We are ALL of the household of the wicked.
We should all be aware of the wise counsel of Peter, when we read such truth in God’s word, and wonder at the timing of God’s justice, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
So today as we consider this proverb, let us remember, but by the Grace of God, we too would be thrown down in ruin. We should share the heart of God, that none would receive that fate, but that all would come to Christ. In our knowledge that we serve a God of Justice, we must remember that God’s justice is first and foremost the Cross. We should take no pleasure in seeing others falling victim to the lies of the Enemy or the consequences of sin. We should actively warn others of the fallen status we all share, and invite them out of the house of the wicked, into the house of God.
Prayer for Today
Father, thank you for your mercy, and for your justice. By your wisdom and in your timing let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus, forgive my sins, and give me a heart like yours to forgive others. Let me serve you in pointing out the dire consequences of sin to others, that they can accept your offer of rescue from it. By your Holy Spirit grant me peace, and the wisdom to chose your will for myself, and encourage others to do the same. Amen.