March 29, 2014

Psalm 7:17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of His righteousness
and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.

The Japanese makes it very clear that the righteousness mentioned here refers to the things that are mentioned in the previous verses, which speak specifically of the wrath of God (verses 11-13) and the troubles that recoil on the wicked. We really don’t like to think and talk about the wrath of God, but it’s an inescapable subject throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. We tend to think of righteousness, or doing what is right, in terms of doing nice things to people, but that’s only part of the Biblical picture. We aren’t to be vindictive, certainly, but it is a sign of God’s righteousness when actively evil people “get what’s coming to them,” as the saying goes. Police and even governments are intended to be instruments of God’s righteousness. (Romans 13:1-7) Civil disobedience is called for only when they are clearly in violation of that principle. Sadly, that seems less and less unusual, but that doesn’t change the basic principle. Whatever people are doing, however, we can trust God to do the right thing, rewarding or repaying each person as is truly appropriate. However, any time we pray for that, we had better be standing on and in faith in Jesus Christ, because otherwise, we too are fit only for eternal punishment! Our first prayer needs to be for mercy and grace, for ourselves and for those who seem evil to us. Whether they accept that mercy and grace and repent is their responsibility, but that is what we should pray for.

I’ve never run afoul of the law particularly, having gotten only one speeding ticket and one parking ticket my whole life, but that doesn’t mean I’m innocent before God. When I am disappointed in others, or even actively angry, I’ve got to remember God’s patience with me. I am not to pray “comeuppance” on people, but rather that God’s Name be hallowed and His kingdom come as His will is done, whatever that might mean. And I am not to try to dictate what it does mean! I cannot directly change anyone but myself, so I need to apply my effort to getting and staying in line and in step with the Holy Spirit, (Galatians 5:25) because only then will I be expressing the righteousness of God.

Father, You know the situations I’m dealing with, and the situations I am reading about on the Internet. I do indeed pray that Your will be done in each one, not as I might imagine it to be but as perfectly as it is in heaven. May I be a compliant, available tool in Your hands for doing Your will, not running off on my own but walking in full obedience, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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