Justice for the Wicked – Psalm 91:8

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Somewhere between Christmas and New Year’s Day, the SARS-CoV-2 virus latched on to me. I noticed an occasional but annoying cough and dismissed it.

I thought of three friends who wound up in the hospital with the virus. Each of them dismissed the cough and did nothing until they found themselves struggling to breathe and went to the Emergency Room. One survived, and the other two battled for their lives and lost.

I realized it was unwise to dismiss the cough and opened one of our home test kits. The dreaded second line appeared – POSITIVE. A friend told me about a local doctor who had a reputation of successfully treating over 3,000 patients with the virus from Wuhan, China.

A Visit with the Doctor

I made an appointment for myself and my husband, Steve, who was sick but tested negative. The doctor saw both of us together. As soon as he heard Steve cough, he said, “You don’t have COVID. You have bronchitis.”

He looked at me, my test results on the computer screen, and back at me.

“So, what have you been doing?”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

He ignored my reserve and asked again, “What have you been doing?”

I admired his straight-to-the-point manner. “We’ve been taking prophylactic supplements for several months. D3, Zinc, Quercetin, C, NAC, probiotics.”

“Well, you’re over the worst of it and probably don’t need treatment. But I’ll prescribe some medications you can take.”

I decided to err on the side of caution and took the medications. I was blessed and thankful for a normal body temperature and high energy levels throughout the sickness. Besides the cough, I experienced brain fog, which was weird. I’d be in the middle of a sentence, and my thought would fly away. Another symptom – which most people don’t like to talk about – was the diarrhea.

Considering what friends have experienced with the virus, I consider myself very fortunate and continue to thank and praise God.

Getting Back to Psalm 91

In October, I wrote about how Psalm 91 mentions pestilence and plagues at least five times. In November, I covered Psalm 91:7 – how we can trust God as our strong defense when under attack. Even when our invading enemy is a submicroscopic organism, we can run to Him as a first resort and ultimate authority.

Continuing in Psalm 91, we now come to God’s “outlandish” verse eight.

You will only look on with your eyes And see the recompense of the wicked. (Psalms 91:8)

I say “outlandish” because even Christians balk at this concept.

“How can you judge someone and call them wicked? No one deserves to suffer!” As kind and compassionate as those words may sound, they contradict what God says in His Word.

Who are the Wicked?

God talks about the “wicked” 263 times in the Bible. We’re not talking about someone who’s having a bad day or who even makes some bad choices and breaks the law.

“Wicked” is the Hebrew word, rasha, pronounced raw-SHAW. I don’t usually go into Hebrew and Greek words in my blog, but I think a word that God uses 263 times is worth mentioning. Rasha means “criminal, one guilty of crime, hostile to God, guilty of sin against God or man, unjust.”

“It denotes the negative behavior of evil thoughts, words and deeds, a behavior not only contrary to God’s character, but also hostile to the community and which at the same time betrays the inner disharmony and unrest of a man.”[1]

The wicked oppose God in their thoughts, words, and deeds. They are hostile to the community and have no rest within. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. ‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’” (Isaiah 57:20-21)

A Recent Encounter with Wickedness

So, am I happy to look on with my eyes and see the recompense of the wicked? Not at all.

I was driving home a few months ago on a four-lane highway. I was in the left lane passing someone who was going slightly slower than me. A truck started tailgating me dangerously close. I maintained my pace, not wanting to get stopped for speeding. I finally moved into the right lane, and the bully sped by me.

Then he did something that I found incredulous. He got right in front of me, slowed down a little, and drove onto the shoulder, his tires spewing pebble missiles at my car. I slowed down and let him go on his miserable way.

I was amazed by how someone could be so angry and vindictive. I felt sorry for him, for his actions displayed an agitated soul with no peace. So, no, I do not rejoice in iniquity. But God’s Word tells me how to recognize it and call it what it is. Wicked. They are not above the laws of God, even though they may think they are. Just like all of us, they will reap what they sow.

[1] Pedersen, J. (1926) Israel, Its Life and Culture, I–II. London, p. 418.

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