Tuesday, July 04, 2023

2023.07.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 94:1–15

Read Psalm 94:1–15

Questions from the Scripture text: What belongs to Whom (Psalm 94:1)? What does the Psalmist want Him to do (Psalm 94:1-2)? What is especially agonizing to the Psalmist (Psalm 94:3)? What is so bad about the wicked’s speech (Psalm 94:4)? What are they doing to whom (Psalm 94:5)? Whom, in particular, are they slaying (Psalm 94:6)? Why do they feel free to do such wickedness to such people—Whom do they treat as without understanding (Psalm 94:7)? But who actually lack understanding (Psalm 94:8)? What obvious conclusions should they have drawn from what attributes God built into us (Psalm 94:9)? And what obvious conclusions from what other attributes (Psalm 94:10)? In the battle of mutually assessing one another (Psalm 94:7, cp. Psalm 94:11), Whose assessment wins? Who, then, is blessed (Psalm 94:12)? What does God give him (Psalm 94:13a)? Until what (verse 13b)? Why is this rest and this pit sure (Psalm 94:14)? So, what is sure to happen (Psalm 94:15a)? And what will the upright in heart do (verse 15b)?

What is the solution to agony over the wicked and their wickedness? Psalm 94:1–15 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these fifteen verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that those who learn from the Lord can be sure that the day of the godly’s rest and wicked’s judgment is coming.  

How long? Does God really see and know and care about what is happening on the earth?

The folly behind shameless sin. In order for people to be shameless in their speech (Psalm 94:4a) and full of themselves (verse 4b) and brutal in their behavior (Psalm 94:5-6), they must act upon the assumption that God doesn’t in fact see or care what is happening. They are gambling their everlasting safety on the idea that God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care (Psalm 94:7). The fool says in his heart that God is a fool.

The REALITY behind our reality. What fools (Psalm 94:8)! Where do they even think the sense of hearing or seeing came from, with all of the marvelous intricacy with which our bodies were created (Psalm 94:9)? God didn’t just make them so that we could see or hear, but so that we might have a tiny inkling of how exhaustively God sees everything. 

And where do they think their own capacity for thought and judgment came from (Psalm 94:10)? God gave us to be able to know, consider, and to judge, so that we might have a tiny inkling of the incomprehensible perfection in which He knows and understands and judges.

Considering that God considers. Yahweh sees all of this, and it is His assessment that determines reality: God says in His “heart” that the wicked man is a fool (Psalm 94:11). 

Inquiring, not questioning. But it’s not just the wicked who are in danger of thinking foolishly. The question in Psalm 94:3 brings the righteous right up to the edge of folly. Thankfully, the Psalmist began with Who Yahweh is in Himself. God of vengeance (Psalm 94:1a). God Who will shine forth (verse 1b). God Who will judge (Psalm 94:2a). God Who will bring down the proud (verse 2b).

So, while we may ask questions (Psalm 94:3), we must not question God, and that is an important distinction. Rather, we see ourselves as lacking understanding. We wish to be instructed (Psalm 94:12), coming to God in humility, coming to Him with our neediness. 

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way… And when we come to Him in this way, we realize that His own character contains the answers to our questions. The days of trouble cannot last forever, because Yahweh has taken us to be His own (Psalm 94:13a, Psalm 94:14, cf. Psalm 94:5). Our covenant God will surely stick with us, and everything will ultimately be set right (Psalm 94:15a, cf. Psalm 94:13b). So, even when the wicked seem to triumph, we will follow after righteousness (Psalm 94:15b) as we confidently wait upon our God!

What wicked ones are unashamedly perverted and abusive? What reality are they missing? If you are not to miss that reality, how should you respond to these circumstances?

Sample prayer:  Lord, to You belong all vengeance and judgment and victory. We long for You to shine forth in Your glory. For, You have taken us as Your people, Your own heritage, and our hope is in You. You created us to be hearing and seeing creatures, because You hear and see all things perfectly. You created us with the capacity for logical and moral reasoning, because Your understanding and judgment are perfect. So, we know that at last, You will set all things right and give us rest from the days of trouble. Indeed, You Who have given us Yourself, in Your Son, by giving us Your Spirit—surely, You will not cast us off or forsake us. So, give us to rejoice over You in trust and obedience and worship, now and forever, by Your Spirit, we ask through Jesus Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP94A “God, the LORD, from Whom Is Vengeance” or TPH94A “Mighty LORD, the God of Vengeance” 

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