Psalm 94

Psalm 94

The Lord Will Not Forsake His People

94   O LORD, God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, shine forth!
  Rise up, O judge of the earth;
    repay to the proud what they deserve!
  O LORD, how long shall the wicked,
    how long shall the wicked exult?
  They pour out their arrogant words;
    all the evildoers boast.
  They crush your people, O LORD,
    and afflict your heritage.
  They kill the widow and the sojourner,
    and murder the fatherless;
  and they say, “The LORD does not see;
    the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
  Understand, O dullest of the people!
    Fools, when will you be wise?
  He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
  He who formed the eye, does he not see?
  He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
  He who teaches man knowledge—
    the LORD—knows the thoughts of man,
    that they are but a breath.
  Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD,
    and whom you teach out of your law,
  to give him rest from days of trouble,
    until a pit is dug for the wicked.
  For the LORD will not forsake his people;
    he will not abandon his heritage;
  for justice will return to the righteous,
    and all the upright in heart will follow it.
  Who rises up for me against the wicked?
    Who stands up for me against evildoers?
  If the LORD had not been my help,
    my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
  When I thought, “My foot slips,”
    your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.
  When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul.
  Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
    those who frame injustice by statute?
  They band together against the life of the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.
  But the LORD has become my stronghold,
    and my God the rock of my refuge.
  He will bring back on them their iniquity
    and wipe them out for their wickedness;
    the LORD our God will wipe them out.


Psalm 94 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!  2  Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.

Psalms 94:1-2 NASB

The appeal to God to exercise His vengeance is not a manipulation of the Lord, but a submission to His decision. Even the psalmist recognizes that it is only God who will decide the timing of such events. In our human wisdom, we struggle to understand why He would wait. When will you move God? How much longer?

We’ve all asked these questions. In our impatience, we believe God should punish swiftly and powerfully. However, it is in His mercy that He waits. Peter writes of how we incorrectly assume that the Lord is slow in His timing.

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9 NASB

It is by His mercy that He waits. Ironically, we love mercy when it involves us but hate it when we think others should be punished. This is human nature. Peter points out that the Lord is not slow as humans understand slowness. His timing is perfect. His ways are just. So, where do we need to possibly change our prayers? Sometimes we pray for God’s wrath to fall on an individual when He is being patient and waiting on repentance. I have, very recently, wrestled with these thoughts.

The truth is, God doesn’t miss opportunities. If He is waiting, there is a purpose. When He decides to move, it will be exactly the right moment. Our role is to trust Him and pray toward His will being done while we cooperate alongside His miraculous plan. I am reminded of Jonah who was so upset when God’s wrath did not come down upon those in Nineveh who slandered His Name.

Then God said to Jonah, “Do you have good reason to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “I have good reason to be angry, even to death.”  10  Then the LORD said, “You had compassion on the plant for which you did not work and which you did not cause to grow, which came up overnight and perished overnight.  11  “Should I not have compassion on Nineveh, the great city in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know the difference between their right and left hand, as well as many animals?”

Jonah 4:9-11 NASB

It was not a good look for Jonah. Let us not make the same mistake.

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