Rich and Poor Alike

The wicked shall return to Sheol,
    all the nations that forget God.

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
    and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
    let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear, O Lord!
    Let the nations know that they are but men! Selah Psalm 9:17-20.

The nations represent the power structures of mankind. They strive for their own power and forget the power of God. The needy are left out of the power structures and only have God to depend on. And the Lord is pleased with those who depend on Him.

In today’s power structure, the needy can be useful to the power structure. Unlike the needy of David’s time, they can vote. And the powerful in government can persuade them to depend on the government and forget their God. Therefore, being poor does not automatically endow you with righteousness anymore than having a high position does not automatically make you wicked. We must all, rich and poor alike, worship the one who made us.

Children of God

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,

what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[b]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,

all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,

the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! Psalm 8:1-9.

The Earth has been given to us to rule over. The devil, here called the avenger, must even answer to a child. His power only exists when we don’t believe in our own.

Repentance Is Required

If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
    he has bent and readied his bow;
he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
    making his arrows fiery shafts.
Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
    and is pregnant with mischief
    and gives birth to lies.
He makes a pit, digging it out,
    and falls into the hole that he has made.
His mischief returns upon his own head,
    and on his own skull his violence descends.

I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
    and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. Psalm 7:12-17.

God is not cruel and vindictive. We do it to ourselves. His righteousness is as sure as the law of gravity. The ground does not hit you because it is angry. It hits you because you were not looking where you were going and fell.

We Will Win

I am weary with my moaning;
every night I flood my bed with tears;
I drench my couch with my weeping.

My eye wastes away because of grief;
it grows weak because of all my foes.

Depart from me, all you workers of evil,
for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

The Lord has heard my plea;
the Lord accepts my prayer.

All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled;
they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment. Psalm 6:6-10.

It is a prayer for ultimate vindication. David expected to be delivered, even though he was miserable in the meantime. He both acknowledges his suffering and confesses victory. We can do the same.

Law and Grace

Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.

Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.

For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield. Psalm 5:8-12.

We must remember that the law and Grace exist at the same time. There is a long list of charges against us. The law says, “Let them bear their guilt!” But Jesus bore our guilt. He did not only bear our guilt, but the guilt of the whole world. But, if the way of deliverance is forsaken, those charges are waiting. They have only been done away on God’s terms: repent and believe the good news!