Sunday Reflection: The Promise of Justice

  • June 28, 2020
Sunday 28

We frequently think of justice in a negative light—as punishment or vindication—but it’s also immensely positive. In fact, the Hebrew word mishpat, which is commonly translated as “judgment” or “justice,” conveys a sense of making things right or putting them in their proper place. This is evident in the heartfelt prayers of the psalmists, who cry out for the Lord’s justice and restoration.

In Psalm 9, we see both of these ideas come together as David prays longingly for God to show him mercy through judgment on his enemies (Psalm 9:13-20). And it’s because of the Lord’s justice that we can be assured “the needy will not always be forgotten” and that hope remains for those who are afflicted (Psalm 9:18). We can take great comfort in this, especially when things feel unfair. God promises He is just and merciful—and He desires to make things right for us.

Think about it
• How does justice help put things in their proper place?

• In what ways do justice and mercy work together in your life—especially in your relationships with others? 

• Reread Psalm 9:1-20. Can you imagine how David was feeling? What helps you focus on God’s love and mercy during times of trial?

Bible in One Year: Psalm 90-94

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13 Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,

14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.

15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.

16 The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.

17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.

18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.

19 Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You.

20 Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.

18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.

1 I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.

2 I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

3 When my enemies turn back, They stumble and perish before You.

4 For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.

5 You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

6 The enemy has come to an end in perpetual ruins, And You have uprooted the cities; The very memory of them has perished.

7 But the LORD abides forever; He has established His throne for judgment,

8 And He will judge the world in righteousness; He will execute judgment for the peoples with equity.

9 The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, A stronghold in times of trouble;

10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You, For You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

11 Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds.

12 For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13 Be gracious to me, O LORD; See my affliction from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,

14 That I may tell of all Your praises, That in the gates of the daughter of Zion I may rejoice in Your salvation.

15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.

16 The LORD has made Himself known; He has executed judgment. In the work of his own hands the wicked is snared. Higgaion Selah.

17 The wicked will return to Sheol, Even all the nations who forget God.

18 For the needy will not always be forgotten, Nor the hope of the afflicted perish forever.

19 Arise, O LORD, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You.

20 Put them in fear, O LORD; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah.

1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

2 Before the mountains were born Or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.

3 You turn man back into dust And say, Return, O children of men."

4 For a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.

5 You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew.

6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; Toward evening it fades and withers away.

7 For we have been consumed by Your anger And by Your wrath we have been dismayed.

8 You have placed our iniquities before You, Our secret sins in the light of Your presence.

9 For all our days have declined in Your fury; We have finished our years like a sigh.

10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.

11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

13 Do return, O LORD; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants.

14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, And the years we have seen evil.

16 Let Your work appear to Your servants And Your majesty to their children.

17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say to the LORD, My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!"

3 For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper And from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night, Or of the arrow that flies by day;

6 Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.

7 A thousand may fall at your side And ten thousand at your right hand, But it shall not approach you.

8 You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked.

9 For you have made the LORD, my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place.

10 No evil will befall you, Nor will any plague come near your tent.

11 For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.

12 They will bear you up in their hands, That you do not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and cobra, The young lion and the serpent you will trample down.

14 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.

15 He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

16 With a long life I will satisfy him And let him see My salvation."

1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High;

2 To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night,

3 With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre.

4 For You, O LORD, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands.

5 How great are Your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep.

6 A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this:

7 That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.

8 But You, O LORD, are on high forever.

9 For, behold, Your enemies, O LORD, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered.

10 But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil.

11 And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me.

12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13 Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green,

15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2 Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

3 The floods have lifted up, O LORD, The floods have lifted up their voice, The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4 More than the sounds of many waters, Than the mighty breakers of the sea, The LORD on high is mighty.

5 Your testimonies are fully confirmed; Holiness befits Your house, O LORD, forevermore.

1 O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!

2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.

3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, How long shall the wicked exult?

4 They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly; All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.

5 They crush Your people, O LORD, And afflict Your heritage.

6 They slay the widow and the stranger And murder the orphans.

7 They have said, The LORD does not see, Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed."

8 Pay heed, you senseless among the people; And when will you understand, stupid ones?

9 He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see?

10 He who chastens the nations, will He not rebuke, Even He who teaches man knowledge?

11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man, That they are a mere breath.

12 Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law;

13 That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity, Until a pit is dug for the wicked.

14 For the LORD will not abandon His people, Nor will He forsake His inheritance.

15 For judgment will again be righteous, And all the upright in heart will follow it.

16 Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Who will take his stand for me against those who do wickedness?

17 If the LORD had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in the abode of silence.

18 If I should say, My foot has slipped," Your lovingkindness, O LORD, will hold me up.

19 When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.

20 Can a throne of destruction be allied with You, One which devises mischief by decree?

21 They band themselves together against the life of the righteous And condemn the innocent to death.

22 But the LORD has been my stronghold, And my God the rock of my refuge.

23 He has brought back their wickedness upon them And will destroy them in their evil; The LORD our God will destroy them.

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Publish Date July 2, 2020
A God We Can Trust

God doesn't change, which means His love for us will never fade.

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