God is in Control
Sometimes we get so frustrated or angry with something or someone that we are tempted to take matters into our own hands to make it right. This spirit of revenge, or a “tit for a tat”, is a strong drive in us (natural man) who simply want to stay in control of those antagonists who surround him. Unfortunately, we cannot give into the spirit of man’s revengeful desires because ultimately no matter how much we get others back, the bitter seeds of hatred and revenge may very well destroy us in the end.
“Then men will say, ‘Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.” (NIV)
As I write this devotional I am reminded of the powerful TV presentation on the feud between the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s, where hate seeps into the souls of the two families and gives birth to mindless evil and murder over many years. If you notice the historical setting, the two families attended the Tug Valley Church of Christ soon after the Civil War ended. My point is simply that God does not allow us to take matters into our own hands, but commands us to turn it over to him, since God alone may avenge (Romans 12:17-21). Our great example, Jesus Christ, is who we are commanded to follow, and he did not return threats or retaliate, but he entrusted himself to God (1 Peter 2:20-23).
Psalm 58 is an appeal to our faith to know that we must trust the justice of God who is in control, and continue to do good in this world. I believe the historical context for David writing this psalm is when he had every opportunity to kill King Saul who was wickedly pursuing him, but he refused to take matters into his own hands to kill him, but instead he turned Saul over to the hand of God (1 Samuel 26). When you look at what a man sows and reaps in venomous hatred spewing over the land, we know the truth of trusting God for justice and not ourselves. God’s righteous ones do not strike back in retaliation regardless of the circumstances or harm done. For us to do so would destroy our faith, harm our influence, and perpetuate hatred and violence in this world.
Faith in God means one thing if it means anything, and that is that God is in control and he will deal with the wicked in his time by his means for his purposes.
The natural man cannot accept this spiritual principle nor understand why the righteous would pursue this truth through faith. The answer is found in our devotional text (Psalm 58:11) where we find that the righteous will be rewarded by God, and there is a God who judges the earth. We never get ahead by retaliating for a wrong done, and when we do we simply multiply our misery in this world. Dear pilgrim, on this matter we must walk by faith and not by sight because our God knows what is best for us while we are under his care in this world. If you want to see the full force of man’s way, then please watch the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s TV mini-series, and I can assure you that your heart will ache as we see two families listen to the devil’s schemes straight from the pit!
Father, I know you love me and want my very best, and you have told me to give matters of revenge to you for your action and justice. By faith I accept this command and I will obey you.