Rev. Delwyn Campbell, domestic missionary and pastor of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church & Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gary, Indiana, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 94. Learn more about Pastor Campbell and how to support his work at lcms.org/campbell.
“O God of vengeance, shine forth! Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!” Does the Bible really say that? Yes it does, in Psalm 94. Vengeance however doesn’t mean rubbing it in people’s faces to the greatest fanfare—it means setting things straight, putting things back in place, and ultimately the created order being restored to its Creator, as in Christ’s sacrifice of “recompense.” The psalm is about restoring justice, but not in the name of ideology. Recompense happens when we are humble, acknowledging our shortsighted mortality and resisting the opposite temptations of opportunism and utopianism. Even in the church, cliques come and go. Only Christ endures.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
The Lord Will Not Forsake His People
94 O Lord, God of vengeance,
O God of vengeance, shine forth!
2 Rise up, O judge of the earth;
repay to the proud what they deserve!
3 O Lord, how long shall the wicked,
how long shall the wicked exult?
4 They pour out their arrogant words;
all the evildoers boast.
5 They crush your people, O Lord,
and afflict your heritage.
6 They kill the widow and the sojourner,
and murder the fatherless;
7 and they say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
8 Understand, O dullest of the people!
Fools, when will you be wise?
9 He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?
10 He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke?
He who teaches man knowledge—
11 the Lord—knows the thoughts of man,
that they are but a breath.[a]
12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
and whom you teach out of your law,
13 to give him rest from days of trouble,
until a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not forsake his people;
he will not abandon his heritage;
15 for justice will return to the righteous,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who rises up for me against the wicked?
Who stands up for me against evildoers?
17 If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.
18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
19 When the cares of my heart are many,
your consolations cheer my soul.
20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you,
those who frame[b] injustice by statute?
21 They band together against the life of the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.[c]
22 But the Lord has become my stronghold,
and my God the rock of my refuge.
23 He will bring back on them their iniquity
and wipe them out for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will wipe them out.
- Psalm 94:11 Septuagint they are futile
- Psalm 94:20 Or fashion
- Psalm 94:21 Hebrew condemn innocent blood
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org