Taking things into God’s hands
What do you do when you are offended? What’s your first response when you think things are unfair? When difficulty or accusation hits us, the world says we should “take things into our own hands”. I mean who else can you trust to bring about the resolution you are wanting? Clint Eastwood famously summed this attitude up saying, “sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.”
But Psalm 109 brings a different response. In verses 1-20 the Psalmist outlines how people have accused and persecuted him. But in verses 21-31, instead of ‘taking things into his own hands” he brings his situation, complaint and struggle to God. We read,
“21But you, Sovereign Lord, help me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. 25I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they shake their heads. 26Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love. 27Let them know that it is your hand, that you, Lord, have done it. 29May my accusers be clothed with disgrace and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.”
His cry is not only for God’s mercy on his situation, but also justice against his (false) accusers. If God were only forgiving but not just, there would be nowhere for us to go when we are sinned against. But God’s holiness will not tolerate injustice. As comforting as that sounds at first, we also are unjust, so unless there is some remedy for us, we will be judged with the same judgment as our oppressors. The only reason the psalmist (or we) can appeal to God is because the Lord Jesus has already spoken on our behalf. When He cried out to God from the cross, he was rejected as he was taking the place of a sinful humanity. Now we can appeal to God because God looks at us through the sinless Lord Jesus.
Our experience of God’s mercy, and His justice will be fully met on the day of Jesus’ return, who won for us the mercy and justice we crave. Yet we can experience God’s justice and mercy in smaller ways now as we entrust ourselves to Him. As we invest our hope in the just and merciful God rather than taking things into our own hands. Our new CrossLife series Hope always near speaks to us at this exact place: calling us to embrace the hope that has been declared in history through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. If we regularly embrace that hope (1 Peter 1:1-10), then we will struggle well with life, give honour to God, and invest well in our world, our communities, our church and our families. Join with all of us at CrossLife to “take things into God’s hands”.
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