More and more it seems as though equity, truth and wisdom have fled from the face of the earth, never to return.
The very foundations of human relationship seems to be so shaken that only cruel might, total deception and ludicrous folly seem to reign supreme.
However, nothing is farther from the truth.
Even now, God lives and all is well.
Even now, as ever, all things happen according to a very fixed plan and for a very determinate purpose. Moreover, that plan and that purpose are strictest justice and divine truth and wisdom.
At all times God says: “These things hast thou done and I kept silence!” You see, the trouble with us is that we misinterpret the silence of God. We have our ears open to the raucous cry of the wicked and our eyes are upon their vile deeds; whereupon we are inclined to raise our eyes to the heavens and complain: “Is there no knowledge with the Most High?”
That is our mistake.
And this mistake is corrected in the ninth psalm.
Justice, truth and wisdom always triumph. Even now and even.
You see, God sits upon His throne and has ever abdicated yet. And that throne is the throne of judgment.
Oh, yes, we are creatures of time and therefore there will be a day of judgment. But God judges every day, eternally.
We may even say that retribution is ever present. We do not have to wait until the judgment day to see punishment. It is ever before us. And although it is true that final retribution is not yet fully revealed, still we have before us the beginning of the same.
But in order to see all this we must have spiritual discernment. The requisite for this perception is the knowledge of God. Vs. 10.
If you have that knowledge you see, in the first place, God.
And because you have true knowledge of God you also see the wicked and the righteous.
And in the third place you see God’s marvelous works toward both the wicked and the righteous. And you see that now.
You see, the psalmist is speaking of the past and of the present when he exclaims: Thou satest on the throne judging right! And although we also read in this psalm that God shall judge the world, so that the poet carries us to the future judgment, yet this future view of the Judge does not keep him from beholding this same Judge making “inquisition for blood” even at the time of this psalm’s composition.
And that, my dear reader, affords us wondrous consolation. You see, the poet tells us that this Judge is even known by the kind of judgment He executeth. Which furnishes us with the necessary proof for the statement that God is in heaven and all is well. Even though we do not hear His voice with our human ears, still we know Him by the marvelous works He performs within and around about us.
Even now “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of man” Rom. 1:18.
Only, you must know God; otherwise you do not see it and you will join the throng of those that wail and lament and have no Helper.
Knowing God you also know virtue. Because God is virtue, all virtue. And the spiritual knowledge of virtue, transforming you into a saint, affords you further knowledge of their very opposite: evil, deceit, folly. And you know how to evaluate them aright.
All this spiritual knowledge will cause you, as David, to properly evaluate the two kinds of actors that play upon the stage of the world’s history.
First, you will praise God in the midst of the sorry mess the world has made of things. In the midst of this mess you will find Zion. And that is the meeting place between God and His people on earth. That Zion is Jesus Christ the Righteous. He manifests Himself upon the earth. Visibly you find Him in the confession and walk of God’s people together with the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments. That is Zion.
And visibly you find God in Christ Jesus in the life of a spiritual world of virtue. In faith and hope and love; in the hunger and thirst for righteousness; in the fight against evil and darkness within and without.
Dwelling in Zion, that is, in the light, you will further also know the righteous. You recognize them on every side. They are those that with you praise God with the whole heart: together with them you spend your days in the recounting of His marvelous works. These works are so evident in the sphere of the natural life as well as of the spiritual, that you never can get through with that labor. His wondrous acts are as numerous as the hairs of your head.
When you and they are suppressed, as you usually are, you put your trust in Him, you cry out of deepest humility to the heavens and He hears your cry. And you know that He hears you. He is a “hoog vertrek” for you. In Zion you feel your safety in the everlasting arms of God, Deut. 33:27.
When you are troubled, when you are hated, having an enemy, when you are plagued as the day is long, until you even arrive at the very gates of death, He hears your cry and lifts you up on high, away from these gates of death and you dry your tears again while morning hears your hallelujah’s. And all this happens now, here, on earth!
You will have noted that 1 quote again and again from the ninth psalm.
Of course, you are needy and poor, you are in danger because of the wicked who dig a pit for you and try to take your foot in a net which they hid. But you do not fear because God saves you as the day is long. When the day of your calamity is past, you look backward and note with wonder that the wicked have fallen in that pit and their own foot taken in the net they hid from you. Marvelous works of God! Wondrous salvation.
Hence, you do not wait for heaven in order to be very happy. Oh no, still closer to His side you press and you know that all is well! Even here below, you go to Zion constantly and you sing of His salvation. Time and again I quote from this psalm.
This is the knowledge of God. Transforming you in a saint. And that means that you are really a citizen of a country that is only partially revealed. You are a citizen of the new heaven and the new earth that will be ushered in when the old commonwealth burns in fervent heat. You are the first fruits of a glorious harvest. And Christ Jesus, the Son of God, the very salvation of which you sing in Zion is the first fruit of the harvest. And after Him you are the first fruits. You have His Spirit and you understand His Word. And you are blest.
And all this happens now. And you see and evaluate all things aright. So that in the greatest calamities you are at rest. God lives and all is well. Your humble state, poverty, distress, dire need, persecution and anguish are necessary links in your salvation. They come to you from the Judge who is even now seated on His throne. And through Christ Jesus who has the government of all things, it is really God who sends you among the wolves for a season. And because you have spiritual discernment you know that all things that happen to you are very wisdom and truth, blessings, even though sometimes they come in disguise, but blessings still. And we say: Hallelujah!
Yes, all is well.
You can say that even now when it seems as though the very foundations of the world are shaken. For you have spiritual discernment.
You see God’s wrath revealed.
There is a threefold revelation of that wrath.
First, you see the wrath of God in the very fact that the wicked are wicked. To be wicked is already a sentence of the judge. To be a wicked man is punishment for him who is wicked.
It is the child of God, walking in the sphere of the virtue of God who can properly evaluate the wicked and their conversation.
Listen to the singing saint.
The wicked are the enemies of the children of God.
Can you imagine anything more terrible? Just think, they hate the revelation of goodness and purity and love! For these are the children of God! The child of God bears the image of the Son of God and He in turn is the express image of His Person. Turn loose these children in the midst of the world and I assure you that they will be hated. There never was a more beautiful manifestation of the Child of God than when Jesus walked the earth. And wherever He walked He heaped upon Himself the hatred of the wicked. They reveal their father, their spiritual source. They are of their father the devil. And his lusts they would do.
Hence they dig a pit for God’s own child. And they hide a net in order to take his foot unto stumbling.
Such revelation is terrible we said.
You see, to be wicked and an enemy of goodness, truth and purity is miserable. We are not able to fully express the misery of a heart and mind that hates God. It is death to be apart from God. And that is suffered here already in a measure. It is the result of a judging God as a punishment for crimes committed.
Secondly, there is the manifestation of the wrath of God in this life where some crimes are already punished by an avenging God. Many times the wicked have fallen into the pit which they digged for the righteous. In order not to become too lengthy I would refer to Haman. And such happened often. Moreover, we see before our very eyes from age to age that God is punishing the wicked in killing him. His body goes to the grave and that day his name perisheth. And his soul is gathered in Sheol, He goes to hell. Of course, you must have also here spiritual eye sight if you are to see it. But it is so nevertheless. The wicked go to hell every day. Have you never shuddered when you heard of the deathbed of the wicked. And why did you shudder? Because you saw the avenging God who said: Thou fool! Thou hast hated Me and My children, and this night I require thy soul from thee and where wilt thou be? And God casts them down in provisional suffering in the place that is prepared for devils. How terrible! Is this not a reality for you? I assure you that if heavenly light illumined your eyes you have seen it. And you have trembled at the just judgment of God. Even now.
And the final judgment comes. Is coming very fast. The signs of this final coming are about us. And that final judgment shall be terrible. Beyond our comprehension. No one can describe the horror of it. To be forever apart from God! The destructions of their hand have come to a perpetual end. They certainly fell into the pit which they made for the righteous. And God is praised even in His severe judgment. For also His justice and equity are very light.
But the righteous are saved.
God has judged from all eternity that they are righteous in Jesus. The life and death, the work and labor of the Son of God is imputed unto them. And so perfect is this work of imputation that it will seem as though they had performed this righteousness themselves. It is because they are righteous in Him. He and they are one body, even legally, before God.
Therefore we conclude that God lives and all is well. All things must serve to bring to manifestation the wonderful work of God’s covenant. All things are but links in the great chain of God salvation.
The darkest page of history will be the theme of eternal heavenly glee: and that darkest page is Golgotha. But it is also the light of God’s unutterable love.
Will you sing of this salvation?