Psalms of Honesty and Truth
David is inheriting a nation full of trouble. He sees Saul choosing leaders who flatter his ego but have no justice in their hearts. Lawlessness is trouble and heartbreaking to the innocent. Seeing innocent people suffer because of unjust judges made David angry, and rightly so. There is a righteous anger that ought to show itself whenever innocent people are condemned or helpless people are abused. David didn’t do any of the things he mentioned but instead asked the Lord to do them. He knew that vengeance belongs to the Lord. David knew God is just and will balance the scales of injustice in the best ways.
Psalm 58, The Message
A David Psalm
1-2 Is this any way to run a country?
Is there an honest politician in the house?
Behind the scenes you brew cauldrons of evil,
behind closed doors you make deals with demons.
3-5 The wicked crawl from the wrong side of the cradle;
their first words out of the womb are lies.
Poison, lethal rattlesnake poison,
drips from their forked tongues—
Deaf to threats, deaf to charm,
decades of wax built up in their ears.
6-9 God, smash their teeth to bits,
leave them toothless tigers.
Let their lives be buckets of water spilled,
all that’s left, a damp stain in the sand.
Let them be trampled grass
worn smooth by the traffic.
Let them dissolve into snail slime,
be a miscarried fetus that never sees sunlight.
Before what they cook up is half-done, God,
throw it out with the garbage!
10-11 The righteous will call up their friends
when they see the wicked get their reward,
Serve up their blood in goblets
as they toast one another,
Everyone cheering, “It’s worth it to play by the rules!
God’s handing out trophies and tending the earth!”
The fact that the righteous rejoice at this is no more sinful than that prisoners of war rejoice at their release from a death camp or that downtrodden citizens rejoice at being set free from a cruel dictator. After all, heaven rejoices at the fall of Babylon (Rev. 18:20–19:6). God vindicates Himself, His law, and His people; and He does it justly. So effective is His judgment that outsiders will say, “Surely there is a God who judges on earth” (v. 11 nasb). (Warren Wiersbe)
So, as troubled as we may be at our current political situation, like Franklin Graham, we must be determined to pray for God’s justice in our country, in our work, in our churches, in our own lives. God is the judge, the only judge who will make things right. Stand up for the innocent. But do it kindly. Stay clean. And let God do His work. He wins in the end. We all win when He wins.
Finally, this strongly worded psalm is not a personal vendetta, but a call for the cleansing of corruption among the judges and in the justice system of Israel. Our call to pray, too. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV)
Dear Heavenly Father, Like David, we get angry at what politicians and judges do and who they seem to be. We seek justice. Help us all, Lord. Save our nation. Save this world. Save us. God help us all.
In Jesus Name, Amen