Short Meditations in Psalms: 5.10 Beware Judgment
Psa 5:10 Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
So many people live their lives with the great assumption that God is inactive – He does nothing, He watches from afar with vague disinterest. In theological terms we call these people who say God sits outside his world inactive, deists, but actually the average person either doesn’t believe there is a God or if there is one He is at a distance and doesn’t interfere with His world – and they are completely wrong!
The Lord constantly interacts with His world. Jesus said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day.” (Jn 5:17) The apostle Paul said, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” (Rom 8:26) So, yes, the Lord is constantly at work on behalf of His chosen ones, His children.
But is that all? No the Scriptures indicate that He is also at work dealing with the unrighteous. Again the apostle Paul in those famous verses near the end of Romans 1 says, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts,” (v.24) and “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts,” (v.26) and “he gave them over to a depraved mind.” (v.28) In each of those three cases the Lord was lifting off His hand of restraint to allow a disciplinary judgment to flow out to the unrighteous – their own unrestrained acts rebounding on them. Oh no, God does act against the unrighteous seeking to bring them to their senses and to repent; He is doing it all the time. And so with these godless enemies of his, David asks the Lord to come and deal with them: “Declare them guilty, O God!” i.e. let them be seen to be wrong, let there be a clear distinguishing between right and wrong. And then with remarkable insight that sees what Paul saw, he says, “Let their intrigues be their downfall.” i.e. Lord, step back and let their wrong doing rebound on them. The truth is that when the Lord lifts off His hands of restraint, which we take for granted most of the time, sins produce fruit that is painful for the sinner. We may think the sinner gets away with it, but so often the Lord acts in such a way that their sinful acts turn round and bite them!
And then he concludes, “Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.” In this he is saying, Lord, these people are a blot on the land of the people of God, please remove them. Why? Because they hearts and their words and their actions are all expressions of their rebellion against God and this people is supposed to be the people of God who they are pulling down. Lord stop this happening!