God’s Power and Justice
1I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
2I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
Let us not be half-hearted in our praise to God!
Luke 1:46-48 (Contemporary English Version)
With all my heart
I praise the Lord,
and I am glad
because of God my Savior.
He cares for me,
his humble servant.
3When my enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished before you.
4For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.
5You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
Proverbs 10:7 (New International Version)
The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.
6The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins; their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.
7But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for judgment.
8He judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.
from the Nicene Creed:
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ . . .
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
9The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
10And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
To know God’s name(s) is to know who He is and what He does. Here are three of God’s names:
Jehovah-Ropheka — The Lord our Healer
El-Shaddai — The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Jireh — The Lord our Provider
11Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion. Declare his deeds among the peoples.
12For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
13Be gracious to me, O Lord. See what I suffer from those who hate me; you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,
14so that I may recount all your praises, and, in the gates of daughter Zion, rejoice in your deliverance.
Years ago, when I was a teacher in Izmir, Turkey, I saw a poster on the door of the US military chaplain’s office there. I have never forgotten it. It said:
Let nothing so fill you with sorrow that you forget the joy of Christ risen!
Which is another way of saying, “I will rejoice in your deliverance.”
15The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid has their own foot been caught.
16The Lord has made himself known, he has executed judgment; the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands. Higgaion. Selah
17The wicked shall depart to Sheol, all the nations that forget God.
18For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish forever.
(Read the Emily Dickinson poem in the poster above!)
Proverbs 23:18 (New International Version)
There is surely a future hope for you,
and your hope will not be cut off.
HERE is “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less” by the lovely Cadet Sisters.
19Rise up, O Lord! Do not let mortals prevail; let the nations be judged before you.
20Put them in fear, O Lord; let the nations know that they are only human. Selah
The Shawshank Redemption is a story that speaks to many of the the themes the Psalmist has brought up in this chapter: the suffering of the innocent, justice, judgment on the wicked, hope for those oppressed, a time of great loss followed by a new future. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins and released in 1994, the movie follows two imprisoned men who learn to trust each other and choose life. My favorite line — “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.