Your unfailing love, O Lord

Today’s Readings: Judges 4:1-5:31, Luke 22:35-53, Psalm 94:1-23, Proverbs 14:3-4

Love and justice are juxtaposed in Psalm 94, which begins as a cry for God to take vengeance against the enemies of His people.

O Lord, the God of vengeance,
    O God of vengeance, let your glorious justice shine forth!
Arise, O Judge of the earth.
    Give the proud what they deserve.

There are repeated cries for justice throughout Psalm 94

Judgment will again be founded on justice,
    and those with virtuous hearts will pursue it.

16 Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?

20 Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side—
    leaders whose decrees permit injustice?
21 They gang up against the righteous
    and condemn the innocent to death.

Toward the end of the Psalm, the focus turns to God’s love and the comfort that brings.

16 Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

In the end, it appears that the writer draws his comfort from God’s unfailing love, rather than from God’s power to wreak vengeance on his enemies.

As April comes to an end, I continue to be impressed by how frequently love and justice are seen side by side in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and the Psalms. I believe it is not simply that I am looking for this – For a person whose only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail – this is a consistent pattern throughout the readings this month. I will pray now for a new theme for the month of May, but the overall focus continues to be walking with God – a return to that original relationship He sought with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

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