If you’ve seen the news, been on social media, or gone in public at all in the last five years, you’ve been bombarded with ideas that the world is riddled with sin! Do you find yourself feeling that God is too tolerant of evil? In Psalm 50, we see God responding to the wicked, who seem to be getting away with their evil and wicked works.
Psalm 50 verses 21 & 22 say:
“These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver.”
Talk about an attention grabber! It’s like God is saying, “Hey, those of you who forget that there is a God…think again!” What is it that God wants us to consider? What does this mean to unbelievers? What does this mean to us as believers? Take a minute and consider what Asaph wanted us to consider from this Psalm.
1. God is more than just aware of what is happening in the world.
Those experiences when we witness people showing hate toward God or toward the things of God, it’s as if we are mini prosecutors who demand that He defend Himself and send judgment. This reaction hints at the idea that we know how God should be judging the wicked. Our actions cry, “God, do you not see what is going on?! We urge You to show up and show Yourself strong!” We act as if God’s not aware. But I love what verse 1 says… “The mighty God, even the Lord, hast spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” In times of acting as if we would be “good” judges…we need to remember that the world is His creation. And He sees everything going on - even more than we ever could.
2. God won’t stay silent forever.
Verse 21 reads, “These things hast thou done and I kept silence; thou toughest that I was altogether such as one as thyself: but I will reprove thee.”
The truth is, yes, sometimes God doesn’t act immediately against evil works. This shouldn’t cause us to become frustrated and calloused, nor should it cause us to become merely stationary fans of God’s coming wrath. Knowing that God won't be silent forever and that His righteous judgments are coming, we should be eager to reach others with the Gospel to help them escape God’s judgment. God’s silence is not to be confused with absence. In fact, His (current) silence is a form of grace. As Christians, we should respond promptly to the grace of God that is given to others. We can respond like Jonah in chapter 4 who was mad that God afforded grace to such a wicked nation or we can be as the servant in Matthew 18 who was forgiven a debt and then demanded a much smaller debt be repaid. Both responded to grace given to others in a poor manner. Grace to Jonah was acceptable in his own life but too widely (and loosely) given to people he thought should be punished. Grace in the servant's life was acceptable in his own life but didn’t affect his life relationally with others. We want to avoid both of these errors. The truth is that if God has kept silent toward wicked actions then He has given them grace. Not a different grace but rather the same grace that offered salvation to you and to me. Rather than trying to counsel God on how He should judge, we should respond with the truth in mind that He won’t stay silent forever.
Take the burden off that is making you upset at all the wickedness going on in the world and rest in the fact that God is the Better Judge.