Psalm 58: What We See When We See Injustice

Read Psalm 58.

A few weeks back, my six-year-old son, Jonah, came to me with a broken Hess truck in hand. He was on the verge of tears, coming from that mixed up place where sadness and anger meet. “This is all Jesus’ fault,” he told me.

A little concerned about my boy’s theology, I asked him what he meant. “Well, Jesus made everything,” Jonah said. I nodded in agreement. “Then, that means He made this truck. He didn’t make it very well, because—look—it broke!”

We then had one of those father-son moments like you used to see on TV. We talked about what the Bible means when it says, “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (John 1:3), and then we talked about not throwing our toys across the playroom.

Jonah’s not alone in his summation. Others have pointed to the brokenness of this world and blamed God. Even worse, some have said that the injustices we experience are evidence that there is no God at all. They reason, How could a good God allow this to continue? He’s either not good or not real.

This isn’t anything new. For as long as this world has been under a curse and the hearts of men and women have been twisted by evil, people have looked at injustice and declared that God must have fallen off His throne.

In Psalm 58, David acknowledges the brokenness of this world, blaming it on those who sit in the seats of power. “Do you rulers indeed speak justly? Do you judge people with equity? No, in your heart you devise injustice, and your hands mete out violence on the earth” (vv. 1–2). But David sees the injustices and appeals to God, asking Him to intervene: “Break the teeth in their mouths, O God; LORD, tear out the fangs of those lions!” (v. 6).

Here’s the difference between David and those who have appointed themselves as God’s critics: Rather than looking around at the situation on the ground and drawing conclusions about the character of God. David looks to the character of God first—what he knows from Scripture and from his own experience walking with Him—and then judges what he sees all around him. Injustice is the aberration, not God’s rule. Sin is the invader, not the default setting of this world.

David is confident that justice will come, and “then people will say, ‘Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth’” (v. 11). Corrupt rulers and broken systems are not evidence that God is absent. Instead, the longing in our hearts for justice is evidence of a coming judgment and a kingdom where all things will be made new—maybe even a certain six-year-old’s Hess truck.

What is this all about?

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