We are constantly provoked to be anxious, angry, bitter, resentful and depressed when listening to or reading the news. Day after day the headlines reveal the latest scandals, corruption, crimes, blatant political manipulations, power grabbing, fraud, outright lies and worse. Massive protests are organized to no avail. The perpetrators of evil deeds seem to be untouchable, getting completely away with their wrongdoings and living in luxury at the expense of helpless, ordinary, law-abiding citizens. What are we to do about it? There seems to be no justice.
In Psalm 37, David gives us guidance with some powerful words. He suffered all kinds of injustices. He had to flee into the desert and suffer starvation conditions to save his life. But he was a warrior who had led many victorious battles. He should know how to get revenge and obtain justice. So, what advice does he give us? It may not be what we expect.
In verses 1-4 he tells us, “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”. In verses 8 and 9 he further clarifies, “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret — it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land”. True to these words, those who opposed David were destroyed and he was restored as king.
As Christians, we must realize that nothing happens without the knowledge and consent of the Lord. We must have faith that He is in charge and He is just. As the Psalm indicates, justice will be served. It may be immediate and precipitous. I have personally witnessed two impressive cases where I have seen the Psalm come true when it did not seem possible. Or it may be served in an eternal scope which is the overriding scope we should all have.
Instead of fretting, we should have pity on those who do evil. Our task is not to get revenge or be envious but to try to lead them to know Christ because without Him they will be destroyed. The price they will pay for their evil, corrupt ostentatious living during their fleeting existence on earth will be far greater than the temporal benefits they enjoy. Jesus gives us a stern warning in Mark 8: 36, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
Meanwhile, we must also take Psalm 37 to heart for ourselves. We must steer ourselves away from the temptations that appear in our paths. I personally have “lost” two multi-million-dollar projects because I put zero corruption as a precondition. I do not regret it in the least. We must reject smaller temptations that crop up much more frequently. Little missteps on the wrong trail eventually lead over a cliff.
We must concentrate on putting our hope in the Lord, taking delight in Him, doing good and enjoying safe pasture. He will take care of the rest. By doing this, we can be at peace whatever the circumstances.
The Union Church of Guatemala
Leaders & Church Staff
Dr. Ralph Porter
Women's Ministry President