Do you rulers indeed speak justly?
Do you judge people with equity?
No, in your heart you devise injustice,
and your hands mete out violence on the earth.

Even from birth the wicked go astray;
from the womb they are wayward, spreading lies.
Their venom is like the venom of a snake,
like that of a cobra that has stopped its ears,
that will not heed the tune of the charmer,
however skillful the enchanter may be.

Break the teeth in their mouths, O God;
Lord, tear out the fangs of those lions!
Let them vanish like water that flows away;
when they draw the bow, let their arrows fall short.
May they be like a slug that melts away as it moves along,
like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away.
The righteous will be glad when they are avenged,
when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked.
Then people will say,
“Surely the righteous still are rewarded;
surely there is a God who judges the earth.”

PSalm 58

We hold ourselves to an unreasonable standard sometimes. We want to be peace-loving and kind in our actions, and that part is commanded by God, but we also wish that we didn’t experience feelings of anger and a wish for revenge. These feelings by themselves are not wrong. It makes sense that a person would want to have the wrongs against them set right.
What Christians, especially modern American Christians, can miss out on is the follow up after that. Do we trust God to reward the righteous, or do we want to take our own revenge? After all, the scriptures tell us that God claims that right exclusively (Deuteronomy 32:35).
If we commit evil to punish evil, we become as guilty as our enemies (Romans 12:17,21). Do you want to demonstrate your trust in God? Trust Him when He says He will punish evil in His own due time.

Ethan Kirl

Originally Published April 2, 2021