Psalm 28:4 (NLT)
Give them the punishment they so richly deserve! Measure it out in proportion to their wickedness. Pay them back for all their evil deeds! Give them a taste of what they have done to others
Pay them back in spades! Give them a taste of their own medicine! I hope they get what they deserve! Make them eat their words! I hope they get their comeuppance! I can’t wait until they have to pay the piper! Every human being has some notion of justice and judgment and when most of us see great evil…we also want to see great justice. We want the punishment to fit the crime…and sometimes, for more egregious crimes, we want to see even more vengeance than that. We pound the gavel and declare them GUILTY…but where is the judgment? Where is the wrath?
David was never shy about his disdain for the wicked and it might give you the impression that it’s a righteous cause to cry out to God for evildoers to get what they so richly deserve…but what about what you deserve? Are you so innocent in the eyes of a Holy and righteous Judge? Was David? I am a veteran of the so-called “Culture Wars” and this subject was a constant refrain in my heart and mind as I dove deeper and deeper into the pit of our nation’s sins. The more informed I became about the extent of the depravity that stalked the halls of not only our government but our schools and even our churches, the angrier I got and the more I wanted to see God “drop the hammer” on the wicked. I was earning a PhD in everyone else’s sin…while only earning a G.E.D. in my own.
Christians need to be very careful when it comes to their desires for the judgment of the wicked. As the Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6, “such were some of you.” When you read the list of sins Paul was referring to, it’s a pretty nasty collection, and one might be tempted to say with some level of confidence, “I was never THAT bad.” Be careful there, friend. God is not comparing your behavior to that list. He is comparing it to Himself. Do you still think you are “not that bad”?
I felt led of the Lord to end today’s devotional with a rather lengthy and uncomfortable quote from Charles Spurgeon on the subject at hand. It is not meant to scare you, for if you are already in Christ then you have no judgment to fear…but I do hope it causes you to reflect on just how sad a state of affairs Christ rescued you from when he hung on that bloody cross for you over two thousand years ago:
“When we view the wicked simply as such, and not as our fellow men, our indignation against sin leads us entirely to coincide with the acts of divine justice which punish evil, and to wish that justice might use her power to restrain by her terrors the cruel and unjust; but still the desires of the present verse, as our version renders it, are not readily made consistent with the spirit of the Christian dispensation, which seeks rather the reformation than the punishment of sinners. Ungodly reader, what will be your lot when the Lord deals with you according to your desert, and weighs out to you his wrath, not only in proportion to what you have actually done, but according to what you would have done if you could. Our endeavors(fantasies) are taken as facts; God takes the will for the deed, and punishes or rewards accordingly. Not in this life, but certainly in the next, God will repay his enemies to their faces, and give them the wages of their sins. Not according to their fawning words, but after the measure of their mischievous deeds, will the Lord mete out vengeance to them that know him not.”