Read Psalm 28:1-5. 1To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit. 2Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary. 3Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts. 4Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5Because they do not regard the works of the Lord or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.
There are psalms where David prays for deliverance from the wicked. And then there are psalms like this one where David prays that he is not counted with the wicked – do not drag me off with the wicked – not just in the next life but in his present experience of God – if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
This isn’t a vindictive prayer; it’s a prayer for justice. Justice is the oft-overlooked gospel truth that gets pushed aside by grace and forgiveness. Because we are called to forgiveness of our enemies by Christ it seems out of place to then pray for justice for our enemies. And because we are all sinners saved by grace it seems wrong to cry out to God for justice in our own lives.
But David never had this problem. He never saw grace and justice as incompatible. And neither should we. Why? Because the cross of Christ accomplished both. Therefore, the Christian, like David, can admit they need God’s forgiveness and at the same time they can cry out for God’s justice. In Christ we can forgive others and desire to see the due reward rendered.
To live is Christ is to live deep within both the forgiving grace and the restoring justice of Christ’s cross. It is a refusal to accept injustice and a desire to see the purifying judgment of Christ cleanse this world of all evil.
Prayer. Jesus, I know you hear me when I cry out to you. By your Spirit and your word you are never silent. Hear my cries for justice and may I be your instrument of righteousness today and every day.
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