January 24, 2019

The Cords of the Wicked

The Lord is righteous; he has cut the cords of the wicked.
Ps. 129:4 

This verse reminds me of Malachi 3:2 which asks a question and provides and answer:
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller's soap.
God's goodness is such that it consumes by its very existence that which is evil. The cords of the wicked are therefore cut away not so much by, but simply because of God's righteousness. This goodness is constantly at work on behalf of God's people. Not because we ourselves are righteous like God, but because we are characterized by righteousness imputed by Christ (meaning, it is Christ's righteousness that has been ascribed to us for his sake). For this reason, Calvin said that "it is a point worthy of special notice, that the welfare of the Church is inseparably connected with the righteousness of God."

If the church is the salt of the earth, and its presence brings righteousness into the world, then I think Christians should think of God's righteousness whenever we see people unjustly arrested or oppressed for any reason. If God is righteous (and God is righteous!), how can I not see my own rôle in cutting the cords of the wicked?

You are pure righteousness, Lord. May I not employ my own self-righteousness to make excuses for my indifference to the plight of those who are in bonds. In the Name of him who taught me to pray...

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