It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
    to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
    and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
    to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
    at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
How great are your works, O Lord!
    Your thoughts are very deep!
The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;
    but you, O Lord, are on high forever.
For behold, your enemies, O Lord,
    for behold, your enemies shall perish;
    all evildoers shall be scattered.
10 But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox;
    you have poured over me fresh oil.
11 My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies;
    my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants.
12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 92:1-15

Justice is a frequently used word these days, especially when referred to as social justice. Unfortunately, there are various definitions of what justice is. In the popular culture of the West, it is most often understood in terms of social justice as defined by the political left, especially those of the more radical variety. It is nearly synonymous with Critical Race Theory and has become the setting for battles in State Houses with new legislation outlawing that kind of “justice.” At the same time, the Federal government is teaching this brand of justice throughout its various departments under the guise of racial reconciliation and equity. That is the justice that it is supposed to deliver. Unfortunately, it can’t, and it won’t. In reality, this approach to racial reconciliation is using racism as the remedy to racism. Do you see the flaw in this reasoning? I believe the saying of Jesus applies here, A house divided against itself cannot stand. It is demons casting out demons. It makes no sense.

Biblical justice is entirely different. The Bible teaches an anthropology that is diametrically opposed to the anthropology of our culture in which humans are supposedly perfectible, given the right circumstances. This is one of the key presuppositions to Marxism and Communism. Scripture is clear that humans are depraved, slaves of sin, none righteous, no not one. That kind of human being is not perfectible without Divine intervention and a new creation.

The only path to true racial reconciliation is the way of God in Christ. All kinds of human beings of all colors and ethnic origins are made one in Christ. It has already happened. It is not something we need to strive for. Those who have bowed the knee to King Jesus have sworn obedience and allegiance to him. And, he says, he has made all divisions among humans obsolete through his death, burial, and resurrection.

Personally, I don’t expect the world to resolve this problem of people groups hating other people groups. It is the nature of sinful man to do so. Does that mean we should just throw up our hands and give in to hate? No. But I also have a realistic expectation that sinful men will behave over time as sinful men.

The solution is the gospel. I know some will say that “Sunday morning at 11 o’clock is the most segregated hour of the week.” That may or may not be true. However, my response is that many Christians are disobedient to Jesus and need deep personal repentance if they are refusing to love their neighbor who is of a different color or ethnicity. It is simply sinning. As one preacher says, “We don’t have a skin problem, we have a sin problem.” And many of the saints need to repent of their sin.

What has all this got to do with Psalm 92?

The Psalm begins with a delightful description of praise and appreciation for God and what he has done. (vv1-5)

Then comes vv6-7. This is Biblical justice.

The stupid man cannot know;
    the fool cannot understand this:
that though the wicked sprout like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
they are doomed to destruction forever;

Psalm 92:6-7

Even though it may look like the folks who hate God are flourishing, it is only temporary. They are doomed to destruction forever. Don’t be fooled by temporal appearances. Let those who feel that they are not receiving justice in this life rest in the reality that those who do not follow Jesus and treat you with injustice are doomed to destruction forever. But we want justice. When do we want it? Now! So goes the street chants. I understand. I want justice now too. I want all humanity to love one another. I want the end of all wars and all hatred. I want the end of all disease. (I wanted that even before COVID-19, but I want it more now.) Is it realistic for me to expect to see it all now in my lifetime? I don’t think so. It will only come about in the New Heavens and New Earth.

Verses 12-15 speak of the real world of the kingdom of God now. It is here even though it isn’t yet in its fullness. It is here nonetheless. The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree. Is this speaking of earthly health and prosperity? To some degree, yes. But that isn’t the true referent. The true flourishing is in Christ. Having intimacy with the one who created us and sustains us from day to day and hour to hour. The one who purchased our salvation and arranged for the New Heavens and New Earth in which we shall dwell with him.

Even in old age, like me, we will flourish, be full of sap and green with beautiful leaves of God’s character and love. The sweetest humans are people who have walked the bulk of their lives with Jesus in true fellowship and have learned to love as Jesus loves. Old people who walk with Jesus don’t dry up and blow away. They ooze with Holy Spirit sap and provide shade for young ones who are early on in their walk with Jesus.

Justice for all only comes in Jesus. This is not a defeatist position. It is a position of challenge. While it is true that many will forever refuse to bow their knee to King Jesus, many do not know him now but would gladly bow the knee if someone would bring the Spirit soaked gospel to them in which they could taste and see that the Lord is good and that he satisfies every longing for life, peace, and justice.

May the Lord bless you and keep you
May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
and give you peace – Amen