Have you ever been frustrated when those who don’t know God, maybe even profane the name of God, prosper more than you? When the person who chides those who believe in God gets a better grade on the exam than you; when the person who lies and cheats to get ahead receives the promotion instead of you; when the couple that is abusive and hostile towards one another and parties on the weekends has a child while you pray constantly for one but to no avail? We should be thankful that the Bible addresses these feelings as a part of human experience and shows us how we should respond to them.
Our Psalm is teaching us what it looks like to have a heart like God when responding to perceived injustice. Look at what the Psalmist Asaph says:
O God, the nations have come into your inheritance;
they have defiled your holy temple;
they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. (v. 1)
We have become a taunt to our neighbors,
mocked and derided by those around us. (v. 4)
There are people that are prospering while defaming the name of God! This is happening while they are persecuting the people of God. And the Psalmist asks the question: “How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever?” (v. 5) They feel like they have been forgotten by God in the midst of their trouble.
But beginning in verse 8 we are taught what it looks like to take these concerns to God. The problem doesn’t lie in having frustrations with our circumstances; the problem lies in not taking these frustrations to the One who can deal justly with them. Look again at what the Psalmist writes:
Help us, O God of our salvation,
for the glory of your name;
deliver us, and atone for our sins,
for your name’s sake! (v. 9)
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture,
will give thanks to you forever;
from generation to generation we will recount your praise. (v. 13)
Notice that the Psalmist does not allow his circumstances to change what he knows to be true about God. Even in his trouble, he knows that God is able to bring justice, and there is a tone of trust in God that is important for us to emulate.
What did this Psalm teach you about how you respond to injustice? Are you more likely to run to God or away from Him? Let us know how we can pray for you below!
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice