Recently my morning Bible reading plan took me to Psalms 94-96. Psalm 94 begins this way:
Psa 94:1 O LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!
Psa 94:2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth, Render recompense to the proud.
Psa 94:3 How long shall the wicked, O LORD, How long shall the wicked exult?
Psa 94:4 They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly; All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
Psa 94:5 They crush Your people, O LORD, And afflict Your heritage.
Psa 94:6 They slay the widow and the stranger And murder the orphans.
Psa 94:7 They have said, “The LORD does not see, Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”
As the psalmist continues, he exhorts the peoples of the “senseless” and “stupid ones” of earth to “pay heed” to our Creator who formed the eyes and ears and can both see and hear and chastens the nations. He who will rebuke knows the thoughts of man and that they are a mere breath (vs. 8-11).
In other words, God who created everyone and all things is in control and though it looks like sinful man is in control, he will most surely be judged by God. Man’s moment is like the breath that is exhaled from our mouths on a cold day. It is visible for only a moment and then it is gone.
The psalmist goes on to remind his readers that “Yahweh will not abandon His people” (vs. 14). God will grant His people relief in the days of adversity (vs. 13). His people are those who are chastened by the Lord and who are taught out of His law (vs. 12). They are the Lord’s “inheritance” (vs. 14).
The psalmist shares with us how he gets through times of adversity and trouble such as we find ourselves in today. It is his meditation on the truths of Scripture that remind him of God’s ever-present help (vs. 17) and lovingkindness (vs. 18) and “consolations” (vs. 19).
I am reminded of the Reformer Martin Luther’s words in his great hymn of the faith:
“And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us;
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.”
The psalmist ends Psalm 94 writing, “But Yahweh has been my stronghold and my God the rock of my refuge. He has brought back their wickedness upon them and will destroy them in their evil; the Lord our God will destroy them” (vs. 22-23).
It is only fitting that Psalms 95 and 96 erupt with praise in the form of singing and shouting joyfully to the Rock of our Salvation! Not only does the psalmist exhort his readers to “sing to the Lord a new song” (Psalm 96:1) but to “proclaim” and “tell” of His “salvation” and “glory” and “deeds” to the nations (vs. 1-3).
As God’s people we are to “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength”.
As God’s people we are to worship Him and bring an offering to Him, and tremble before Him” (vs. 7-9).
As God’s people, we are to affirm and reaffirm to the nations that “Yahweh reigns!”
This is what is going to get us through tough times.