He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:6-8 (NIV)
Today is Human Rights Day in South Africa. Human Rights Day marks the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations. The day focuses attention on human rights issues.
Ever since sin entered the world, there has been a constant clash between good and evil. Wickedness can be found both in the corridors of power and in every other sphere of human activity.
One becomes aware of despotic leaders who abuse their powers and reduce their nations to poverty before going into exile, with millions amassed in foreign banks.
It is the abuse inflicted on individuals, particularly women and children, that most touch the heart strings and can have us seething with righteous anger. Sometimes the abuse is so heinous, so utterly evil and depraved that one itches to avenge it. The psalmist warns against such vigilante action –“it leads only to evil”.
Do not fret we are told. Instead we are exhorted to be patient and wait for the Lord to act. The Lord has his own timetable. We can remain confident that he is in control. Evil will be countered and justice will ultimately triumph.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, teach us your ways. So often when we experience injustice we want to strike back in similar vein. Empower us through the Holy Spirit to counter evil with good and in so doing, reveal the knowledge of your glory. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord.