Reading: Psalm 36
…there is no fear of God before his eyes… he does not reject evil… There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
We all want justice. It’s a kind of instinct, something internal that we’re born with, and when we see an injustice we cry out.
Except when we’re the one’s who have done something wrong. That’s when we begin to make excuses, to explain away what we’ve done, or even to simply ignore it.
But you know, if you go far enough down that road of dismissing your own sins, you might get cocky enough to think that judgment will never actually come your way. You’ve gone this long without getting caught, after all. What’s there to fear?
That’s really what Paul is talking about in the first few chapters of Romans. People no longer reject what is evil (indeed, they embrace it). But by not rejecting evil, they are in fact rejecting God. So God gives them up to the evil they refused to reject. And when they fall—which they will—there they will remain, with no God to save them.
It would be prudent to head this off, wouldn’t it? To settle with your accuser on the way, rather than to let the official judgment fall? (see Luke 12:57-59). You see, it is the fear of the Lord, the fear of his judgment that drives us to repent.
And the good news is that God is faithful to those who fear him. In fact, the steadfast love of God becomes the shelter from the judgment we ought to incur. And what’s more is the judge himself becomes the judged, and we are pardoned by his grace.
Let us then reject evil and embrace what is good, remembering that, though the wicked may prosper for a time, the day of reckoning will come.
Father, we would be lost but for your grace, the grace you give us in Jesus Christ and in him crucified. Teach us to be honest with ourselves about our sin so that we can reject evil and turn away from it back. Do not give us up to our own devices, but preserve us, hide us in the shadow of your wings.