A Psalm About God as the Judge (Psalm #58)

Text: Psalm 58

Context of this Psalm is 1 Samuel 24.

It is faith to believe that God is the rewarder of good AND EVIL. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Faith is believing God will reward your labor for him. Faith is also believing God is the rewarder of evil and it is not your job to retaliate for God. This is an aspect of David’s faith and faith in general.

I’m going to give you the application of this Psalm here at first, then go back and show you how we got here. Here’s the application: God’s people were never supposed to take revenge. God has always taught His people that He is the Judge, and He is the one that makes things right.

The faith that saves is the same faith that turns to the Lord during injustice. The faith that saves is the same faith that doesn’t retaliate to wickedness. If you carry a constant grudge, and have no inclination to trust God for the injustice you may have suffered, that’s a good indication that you don’t trust God for eternal life either. Faith believes God is the rewarder to both good and evil. Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. In faith, Paul said it this way in 2 Timothy 4:14, Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works.

Temptation to be faithless (vss 1-5)

  • Wicked stir up trouble with their mouth
    • Notice all the references to the mouth of the wicked; speak, speaking lies, poison of a serpent (in his mouth).
    • 1 Samuel 24:1, 9
    • They use their mouths because they don’t want to get their hands dirty; tattlers, troublemakers, liars.
    • It’s wickedness to drop a piece of information in hopes that it will lead to hurting someone else.
    • David is tempted to lean on his own understanding and not trust the Lord because of the lies of the wicked that are causing him injustice.
  • There are also friends with good intentions
    • These people close to you will cause you to violate God’s will. See it in 1 Samuel 24:4?
    • These are not evil people. They aren’t even folks you need to start avoiding. Everything about their advice makes sense.
      • Saul is hunting David without a cause.
      • For David this is life or death. The stakes couldn’t be any higher.
      • It only makes sense to take matters into your own hands.
      • There is a way which seemeth right unto a man…
      • What seems right to his friends is actually them encouraging him to abandon his faith in God.
    • They even had scripture like the devil with Jesus Christ, but just like the devil, their advice was to get ahead of God and take matters into your own hands.

Trusting in the Lord (vss 6-9)

  • David struggled with getting his own justice. Look at 1 Samuel 24:4-15.
  • David’s faith looks to the Lord to punish the wicked.
    • Psalm 58:6 Break their teeth, O God… O Lord…
    • This is a harsh prayer, but it is a prayer to the Lord and not David taking matters into his own hands. This is David’s faith at work when he has been treated wrong.
    • David wants these wicked men to be silenced.
  • How about you? Do you have enough faith NOT to get even?

Triumph of faith over vengeance (vss 10-11)

  • The righteous – those who trust God – shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance, David said in verse 10.
  • Romans 12:19-21
    • Victory is overcoming vengeance with trust that God will avenge (vs 19)
    • Victory is overcoming hostility with kindness (vs 20)
      • You give God an opportunity to work.
      • Paul is quoting Proverbs 25:21-22 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.
    • Victory is overcoming evil with good (vs 21)
  • Luke 18:1-8
  • 1 Peter 2:18-24