Have you ever been falsely accused or so badly hurt that you wanted to take revenge? In this life, we may face many injustices: we may be misunderstood; we may not be appreciated by others; our work and service may not be duly rewarded; we may be overlooked and ignored.
Justice is a major theme in the book of Psalms. Justice is more than honesty. It is active intervention on behalf of the helpless, especially the poor. The psalmists praise God because He is just. They plead for Him to intervene and bring justice where there is oppression and wickedness. They condemn the wicked who trust in their wealth and extol the righteous who are just towards their neighbors. The psalmists do not merely wish the poor could be given what they need, but plead with God to destroy those nations that are subverting justice and oppressing God’s people.
The world often ignores the plight of the needy, crushing any earthly hope they may have, but God, the champion of the weak, promises this will not be the case forever. He knows our needs, He knows our tendency to despair, and He promises to care for us. Even when others forget us, He will remember!
David wrote Psalm 7 in response to the slanderous accusations of those who claimed he was trying to kill King Saul and seize the throne (1 Sam. 24:9-11). Instead of taking matters into his own hands and striking back, however, David cried out to God for justice. The proper response to slander is prayer, not revenge. Words are powerful, and how we use them reflects on our relationship with God. Perhaps nothing so identifies Christians as their ability to control their speech – speaking the truth, keeping promises, and refusing to slander.
All of us want God’s help when we are in trouble, but often for different reasons. Some want God’s help, so they will be successful. Others want God’s help, so they will be comfortable and feel good about themselves. David wanted God’ help so that justice would be restored to Israel and God’s power would be displayed for others to see. When you and I call out for God’s help, what is our motive? Is it to save ourselves pain and embarrassment or to bring glory and honor to God?
During a time of great evil and injustice, David was grateful that God is a righteous judge. When we are mistreated, let’s remember David’s example by asking God to take our case, bring justice, and restore our reputation. If you ever feel that you are being treated unfairly, ask the Lord who is always fair and just to be with you. When you feel broken, bruised, or burned, God won’t step on you or toss you aside as useless, but will gently pick you up.
When we truly follow God, He rewards our efforts. God sees and remembers all the good we do, and it is up to Him to decide the timing and appropriateness of our rewards. If we trust Him to vindicate us, we will experience His peace and will be free from the worry of how others perceive and treat us.