16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
These words could easily be spoken by the people of Afghanistan presently and over the last few weeks, or the people of Myanmar over the last year as their respective countries have been overtaken by people who say one thing but often do something very different. Who will rise up for me… Who will take a stand for me?
But it takes courage and very often it is costly to rise up for the oppressed and to take a stand for those suffering injustice, and sadly, the reality is that few are willing. But One!
The psalmist continues:
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
Have you ever experienced a situation when it seemed that all human assistance was futile and there was only One Hope left? When your feet were slipping and you were in despair? Then you discovered again that God’s unfailing love… supported you. Have you experienced great anxiety that overwhelmed you and in crying out to God for help you found that His consolation brought you joy? If so, you are not alone. Many, including the psalmist have experienced God in this way.
The same truth is expressed in Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
Unfortunately, our world is full of situations where those who rule the people do it, not for the good of the nation and its people, but for their own glory or in order to keep control or to fulfill their own political or ideological agendas or even for their own personal gain. The psalmist refers to these as corrupt thrones! He says:
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
Longman says: “A corrupt throne would issue laws (decrees) that would bring misery rather than joy. Such laws would give opportunity to the wicked, while suppressing the righteous.” (# 30)
Sound familiar to any contemporary situations?
But the psalmist has a secret that those involved in corruption of this type forget. He says:
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.
In God, despite his difficulties, the psalmist knows his future is secure! And in Christ, so is ours.
“In the book of Revelation (6:9-11), John describes how he saw, ‘those who have been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained’ crying out to God, ‘How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?’ In response, they are each given a white robe and told to wait a little longer. The little longer is until Jesus returns and does judge the wicked and save his people.” (# 30)
Whatever your situation, I trust your experience of God in these days is as your Fortress, your Rock and your Refuge as we wait patiently for Jesus to return. And may we be faithful in praying for and serving practically, where possible, those who live under corrupt thrones – and sadly there are many!