This is the only psalm in the Psalter in which God is addressed as “God of Vengeance” or “God Who Avenges.” Vengeance, divine vengeance speaks of judgement, the final reckoning for millennia of sins and transgressions. When judgement falls, God's glory is fully displayed; He shines forth. Incidentally, every time we pray, “Jesus, come quickly,” we are praying for our God Who Avenges to bring down His final judgement.
There is much in the twenty-three verses of this psalm. Verse 3 reminds us of the Great Tribulation saints of Revelation 6:10 crying out, “How much longer, Sovereign Lord, until you take vengeance of our blood from those dwelling on the earth? We are reminded that the Lord will not abandon His people (v 14), that judgement will be righteous (v 15) and that God is a rock of refuge (v 22). The final verse, where the word “destroy” appears twice, hearkens back to the first verse where “vengeance” twice appears. While all of these concepts and declarations deserve their own consideration, I shall restrict myself to the central issues of vengeance and deliverance.
Godly vengeance is righteous and in keeping the nature and will of God. In contrast, human revenge is neither righteous nor in accord with the will of God. Vengeance is not our job; God in His own time will right all wrongs.
In verse 12 we are reminded of the first line in the Psalter, the blessed man who is disciplined by the Lord. This man is being sanctified in the Spirit and will be removed from the earth before judgement falls. In light of this, how then are we to live?
For much of my life, I lived by such mottoes as “don’t get mad, get even” and “revenge is a dish best eaten cold.” This, sadly, is the way of the world. The forty-fifth President of the U. S. often bragged of his life-long policy of hitting back “people that screw you” ten times as hard or fifty times as hard. God gave us laws restricting us to “an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” to prevent such bloody-mindedness.
Vengeance is God’s job. So, what is mine? I need to daily rely on Him to direct my steps as He would have me be a point of light, a source of help, to all who live with me in this dark and broken world. We spend years getting messed up; it can also require years for the Holy Spirit to clean up the mess.
3 Month Reading Plan - Psalms 93-94