O LORD God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, shew thyself.
We know what the eye and ear of man are, what it is to have the eye or ear of a friend near to us, or the eye and the ear of a master watching over us. What a difference does it make at once in all our thoughts and feelings! Especially suppose it is a friend or a master whom we love and reverence very much, what a vast difference does his presence make! It is only for want of due attention and consideration that we do not thus think of Almighty God at all times. For, as the Psalmist asks, "He that made the ear, shall He not hear? He that made the eye, shall He not see?"
Notice some points in which a reflection on the great truth which is contained in these words may be of use to us.
I. With regard to the many confusions that abound in the world, the manifold disorders of the times, which affect so seriously both the Church and nation, and perhaps every closer circle of life in which each of us is placed. What a reason for deep quietness of soul, for awful stillness and listening regard, is the consciousness of Him who is in the midst of us, though we see Him not!
II. The awful doctrine of God's omnipresent ear and eye may greatly assist us in the work of self-amendment. It is the thought of this which makes the saints of God always remarkable for profound humility. Whatever else there may be in common in good men, there never was a man accepted of God but that acceptance was in proportion to his humility.
III. As our ideas of God's knowledge and watchfulness are taken from the eyes and ears of men, so may we apply also to the same matter human affections also, which are often signified by these. Thus it is said that "the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers." What is there in the world so encouraging, so consoling, so supporting, as the eye and ear of a friend? It was in thus looking upon God as their sure and present Friend that the faith of the patriarchs and of that noble army of martyrs, and prophets, and saints mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews consisted, in that, as is there said of Moses, they endured "as seeing Him who is invisible."
Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times" vol. ii., p. 224.
References: Psalm 94:9.—J. Culross, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 330. Psalm 94:10.—S. W. Skeffington, Our Sins or our Saviour, p. 183.
Psalm 94:12I. The highest love is marked by its severity, for the absolute condition of it is that it will never rest till it has lifted up the man whom it reaches to a level with itself. The lower love will often shrink from giving pain, nay will rightly do so unless it knows that the pain will purify, but not so the love of God. His love cannot be content to leave us to be mere creatures of our own appetites and passions, of the whim of the moment, or of the besetting sin which has fastened on our souls, or of a mere worldly purpose. There is no such thing as forgiveness without cleansing, and the cleansing is in itself the punishment of the sin which it cleans.
II. Human love must be controlled ever by such love as this. No human love is true which puts the lower above the higher, or drags down what it loves from the path of honour or of duty.
III. Those who have been most touched with a sense of this have not prayed to be spared, but rather the contrary. Anything, everything, is welcome to those men which makes them more and more the true sons of God, which refines them to that purity which they themselves delight in. So, too, do men most deeply feel what is the meaning of the death of Christ. He suffered for us, indeed, but that suffering is all strange to us till we begin to suffer too.
Bishop Temple, Rugby Sermons, 2nd series, p. 39.
References: Psalm 94:12.—E. Garbett, The Soul's Life, p. 144. Psalm 94:16.—H. R. Reynolds, Notes of the Christian Life, p. 283; J. Budgen, Parochial Sermons, vol. ii., p. 219. Psalm 94:19.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv., No. 883, and vol. xix., No. 1116. Psalm 94—S. Cox, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. vi., p. 273.
Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: render a reward to the proud.
LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?
How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
They break in pieces thy people, O LORD, and afflict thine heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger, and murder the fatherless.
Yet they say, The LORD shall not see, neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.
Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?
He that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know?
The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O LORD, and teachest him out of thy law;
That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked.
For the LORD will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
But judgment shall return unto righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it.
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
Unless the LORD had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence.
When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O LORD, held me up.
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.
Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?
They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.
But the LORD is my defence; and my God is the rock of my refuge.
And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.