I wrote a blog a couple years ago that described my frustration at seeing the online praise and honor given to a toxic leader of a Christian organization. He had died and he was praised on social media by several who knew his toxic leadership.
I was frustrated by the lack of vindication. I had suffered under his ungodly leadership and I felt isolated. Quite frankly, I would have prefered having those same people explaining his toxic leadership on social media.
My friends contacted me soon after that blog to apologize for their honoring of this toxic leader.
In addition, In just a short time, I have witnessed (not on the spot, mind you) the burning down of one church, the flooding of another, and death of another tormentor (ministry leader). The two churches were those who had horribly mistreated sexual abuse victims and supported their perpetrators.
Ah, vindication. It is sweet.
Today I was reading in Psalm 54 and got another take on this by the Holy Spirit impressing upon me God’s vindication. I was deeply challenged for the attitudes I have had.
Psalm 54 says “strangers have risen up against me.” But David, the composer, says,
Behold, God is my helper;Psalm 54:4-5 (ESV)
the Lord is the upholder of my life.
He will return the evil to my enemies;
in your faithfulness put an end to them.
I was struck by David’s confidence that the Lord would “return the evil” to his enemies.
A question came to mind: Will that “evil” God returns to my enemies be in this life (through trials and tribulations), the end of their life, or simply in the final judgment? He says, in faithfulness, he will “put an end to them.”
I wondered if the end of those who attack God’s people is consistently a horrible end? Maybe they will suffer financial disaster. Or flooding and fire. Or broken relationships with those close to them. Or some particularly difficult death?
Asaph certainly didn’t think so:
For I was envious of the arrogantPsalm 73:3-5 (ESV)
when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For they have no pangs until death;
their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Whether or not God judges these people, who are set against God’s children, by bringing visible hurt upon them in this life or not, there will be vindication for His people according to David in Psalm 54.
I felt badly that others had praised my tormentor (ministry leader) but David, in Psalm 54, showed me that my vindication comes by God’s hand. I need not see it through man’s judgment. And certainly not on social media! I can rest in forgiveness knowing that God will either bring my oppressor around to repentance or bring him to the grave to face eternal fire or a cleansing of glory (if a true believer).
I will be vindicated…but it will be by the Lord.
David’s words are freeing. They set free my captive heart to see the vindication I so desire. I can lay my head down knowing that it matters not in what form that vindication comes. My God, the Creator of the Universe, is on my side because I am His child.
And He will bring His justice to pass…either by convincing the abuser of his wickedness or bringing him well-earned justice.
God’s vindication is just right.
Rest, oh anxious heart.