Updated: Mar 15
Psalm 94 has encouraged me recently. Here’s a précis.
The psalmist is concerned about the wicked in the midst of his own people, not in some far-off foreign country. He writes/sings:
· Three pleas, prayers to God (vs.1,2)
1. God, show yourself
2. Lift up yourself
3. Render a reward to the proud
· Three questions to God (vs.3,4)
1. How long shall the wicked triumph (asked twice)?
2. How long shall the wicked speak hard (harsh, arrogant) things?
3. How long shall the wicked boast themselves?
· Three horrible things the wicked are doing (vs.5,6)
1. Breaking in pieces God’s people
2. Afflicting God’s heritage (his people)
3. Murdering the vulnerable
· Two pathetic excuses of the wicked (vs.7)
1. “God won’t see it” – their blasé attitude and wrong idea of God
2. “God won’t regard it” i.e., like saying, ‘He doesn’t worry as we’ve got a special allowance from Him to do what we want to do.’
· The psalmist’s subsequent pointed message to them (vs.8)
“Understand, you brutish” [i.e., you insensible, unfeeling, irrational, ignorant fools!]”. The operative word is “understand” (consider), which they could conceivably do if they tried
· Four rhetorical questions to the wicked (vs.9,10), on the understanding that God is the Creator of ears, eyes, and mind.
1. Shall not God hear?
2. Shall not God see?
3. Shall not God chastise?
4. Shall not God know?
· A summary sentence of the first part of the psalm (vs.11) – “The LORD knows man’s thoughts, that they are vain [empty, deceived]”
· A three-fold beatitude opening the second half of the psalm (vs.12,13). Blessed is the one who God –
1. chastens (corrects)
2. teaches out of His law
3. gives rest from the days of adversity
· Until? – “until the pit be digged for the wicked” (vs.13b) i.e., judgment’s coming
· Three assurances (vs.14,15)
1. God will not cast off His people
2. God will not forsake His inheritance
3. God will bring a return to righteousness – “judgement shall return to righteousness” then “all the upright in heart shall follow it” (vs.15)
· Two questions/challenges from the psalmist (and God), to the upright to take action (vs.16)
1. “Who will rise up for me against the evildoers?”
2. “Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?”
· The psalmist encouraging himself (vs.17-19)
1. God’s help – when he was almost going to sit down and give up
2. God’s mercy – holding him up when he was worried about falling,
3. God’s consolation and joy – when myriad thoughts were scrambling around in his head and he was about to say “I can’t take anymore!”
· A rhetorical question for God (vs.20): “Shall the throne of iniquity [i.e., the worst of the worst of the wicked!] have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law [they’re in a position to use the law corruptly!]? The answer we all know is, No, they’ll have no friendship with God
· The wicked are attacking two categories of people (vs.21) (the psalmist reminding God)
1. the righteous
2. the innocent
· The psalmist reassures himself of three incontestable facts (vs.22,23)
1. God is his defence (what God gives)
2. God is his rock of refuge (the place to go of strength and safety)
3. God’s judgment is coming – God will bring upon the wicked their own iniquity and cut them off in their own wickedness: “the LORD our God shall cut them off.”