Summary: The Psalmist describes the actions of our great God. 1- God avenges for evil 2- God sees the oppression 3- God blesses the humble
INTRO.- ILL.- A father of four boys came home to find them all engaged in something of a free-for-all. Addressing his remarks to the most aggressive of the four, he asked, “Butch, who started this?” “Well, it all started when Harold hit me back,” exclaimed Butch.
We humans like to take matters into our own hands when we get hurt by someone or are offended by another. I think it’s our human nature or more like our sinful nature to want to get back at people when they do us wrong.
If someone hits me, I’m going to hit them back. If they cuss me, I’ll cuss them back. (well, maybe not!) If they say something negative or nasty to me, I’ll say the same to them. (I hope not). If they give me a dirty look, I’m smile back at them. That will get them! If your dog poops in my yard... Shucks, I don’t have a dog! It does seem somewhat natural for us to avenge for any wrongs done to us.
ILL.- A man was told by his doctor, “Yes indeed, you do have rabies.” Upon hearing this, the patient immediately pulled out a pad and pencil and began to write.
Thinking the man was making out his will, the doctor said, “Listen, this doesn’t mean you’re going to die. There is a cure for rabies.” “Oh, I know that,” the man said. “I’m just makin’ a list of all the people I’m gonna bite.” Many folks live by the rule: "I don’t get mad. I get even.”
ILL.- Preacher Wayne Smith said one time in a sermon, “Lord, I know it’s wrong to hate anybody but if it ever becomes right I’ve got the guy picked out!”
Righting wrongs. Whose job is it?
We tend to take matters into our own hands when we see wrong or what we consider to be wrong or especially, when we feel we have been wronged by someone. But really, it’s the Lord job, not ours.
Romans 12:17-21 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Do not repay evil for evil. We are not to fight fire with fire, but rather with good. We leave all vengeance to God and we try to overcome evil by doing good to our enemy or opponent. This is not the way of the world, which is dog eat dog, but it is the way of Christ. It’s not easy to overcome good with evil but we must try. Otherwise, the Psalmist says that God is our avenger.
PROP.- The Psalmist describes the actions of our great God.
1- God avenges for evil
2- God sees the oppression
3- God blesses the humble
I. GOD AVENGES FOR EVIL
1 O Lord, the God who avenges,
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
God is our judge, but not all human judges are fair, equal or even intelligent.
ILL.- Funny things happen when human judges make crazy mistakes in sentencing. Instead of two years and a $1,000 fine, the judge stated: “You are hereby sentenced to 1,000 years in the penitentiary and a $2 fine.” HOW CRAZY IS THAT? Perhaps it was a “typo” in words!
Another judge sentenced a defendant to nine months in jail, but after the defendant had left the courtroom, the judge discovered that the maximum sentence was six months. So the judge ordered that the defendant be returned to court that afternoon and said: “They tell me you were a model prisoner this morning, and I’m going to reward you for your exemplary behavior. Your sentence is hereby reduced to six months.”
Obviously, that judge was just trying to cover for his mistake. EVERYBODY MAKES MISTAKES.
And then there is the other side of the coin.
ILL.- A certain judge was constantly annoyed by the sneering remarks of a certain “wise cracking” and abusive attorney. Instead of cracking down on the lawyer and silencing him, the judge would only smile and chew his pencil until people wondered at his patience. At a dinner someone asked him, “Judge, why didn’t you slap down that wise guy lawyer?”
The judge laid down his knife and fork and resting his chin on his hands said, “Up in our town there lives a widow who has a dog which whenever the moon shines, goes out and barks all night at the moon.” Then the judge quietly resumed eating.