Monday, May 23, 2022

Waiting for Justice (Psalm 59)

"You shall have all the nations in derision. I will wait for You, O You his Strength" (Psalm 59:8b–9a).

Besieged in his own house by soldiers with every avenue guarded by Saul’s troops, it seemed impossible that David could escape with his life. Documented in 1 Samuel 19 is David’s harrowing flight from Jerusalem where he becomes indebted to the ingenuity of his wife, Michal, for his deliverance. Yet, even as Michal planned the scheme of his escape, David knew that she was only an instrument of God. Michal deceived Saul’s men by letting David out through a window, putting an idol in the bed to trick the soldiers, and then telling Saul David was sick. By the time the plot was uncovered, David was safely on his way to Ramah.

David learned through this dangerous adventure that God delivers His people. Even though He uses human instruments, God is the hand that opens the doors and sets men free from the snares of their enemies. Therefore, we must look to God for safe passage through the trials that mount against us in this life.

As David prayed for a way of escape, he also asked that God vindicate him. Similarly to the previous psalm, David prays that God would execute His divine judgments against the injustices of his enemies. As we know from the records of David’s life, these judgments were not always swift. Therefore, in waiting on God, David had to develop great patience. 

Just as God did not always bring immediate punishment upon David’s enemies, so Christ does not destroy His enemies at once, but brings about His purposes over a long period. This can often frustrate God’s people. “We are apt to think when God has not annihilated our enemies at once, that they have escaped out of His hands altogether; and we look upon it as properly no punishment, that they should be gradually and slowly destroyed,” Calvin wrote. To check ourselves, we must be as David, finding solace in the lesser judgments of God. Although the unrighteous may not be destroyed at once, we can delight in the small victories we witness. A wicked government may not be overthrown at once, but one by one unrighteous laws may be repealed, victories for God’s ways won in the courts. We must learn not to forsake the little things, but trust God in His righteous government.

How has God used human instruments to see you through a tough time? Do you thank Him or only give credit to the person He used? When faced with trials that involve unrighteous people, do you wait patiently on God’s timing in executing His justice? Ask God to help you see His sovereign hand in all things.