Do you want justice?

It has been a testing time, but there has been encouragement.  I deserve nothing from God, so these words that people say, even a ‘thank you’, seems like sweet honey.  It was encouraging that God seemed, on two occasions, to allow me to say something particularly helpful to people.  We ask for justice, like Psalm 17, but over time justice is not something I desire.  I desire mercy and compassion for myself and that I might show it to others.

Psalm 17

 Hear me, LORD, my plea is just;
   listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
   it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
   may your eyes see what is right.

 3 Though you probe my heart,
   though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
   my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
   I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
   through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
   my feet have not stumbled.

 6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
   turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
   you who save by your right hand
   those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
   hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
   from my mortal enemies who surround me.

 10 They close up their callous hearts,
   and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
   with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
   like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

 13 Rise up, LORD, confront them, bring them down;
   with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, LORD,
   from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
   may their children gorge themselves on it,
   and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

 15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
   when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness


  1. What is the cause of this psalm?
  2. What does David want from God?
  3. How does God’s justice display itself in the Old Testament?
  4. How do you want justice?
  5. How should we be agents of both justice and mercy?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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