Psalm 94 — Israel's Prayer During The Tribulation
94:1 O Jehovah, thou God to whom vengeance belongeth, Thou God to whom vengeance belongeth, shine forth.
94:2 Lift up thyself, thou judge of the earth: Render to the proud (their) desert.
94:3 Jehovah, how long shall the wicked, How long shall the wicked triumph?
94:4 They prate, they speak arrogantly: All the workers of iniquity boast themselves.
94:5 They break in pieces thy people, O Jehovah, And afflict thy heritage.
94:6 They slay the widow and the sojourner, And murder the fatherless.
94:7 And they say, Jehovah will not see, Neither will the God of Jacob consider.
94:8 Consider, ye brutish among the people; And ye fools, when will ye be wise?
94:9 He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? He that formed the eye, shall he not see?
94:10 He that chastiseth the nations, shall not he correct, (Even) he that teacheth man knowledge?
94:11 Jehovah knoweth the thoughts of man, That they are vanity.
94:12 Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Jehovah, And teachest out of thy law;
94:13 That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit be digged for the wicked.
94:14 For Jehovah will not cast off his people, Neither will he forsake his inheritance.
94:15 For judgment shall return unto righteousness; And all the upright in heart shall follow it.
94:16 Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers? Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
94:17 Unless Jehovah had been my help, My soul had soon dwelt in silence.
94:18 When I said, My foot slippeth; Thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, held me up.
94:19 In the multitude of my thoughts within me Thy comforts delight my soul.
94:20 Shall the throne of wickedness have fellowship with thee, Which frameth mischief by statute?
94:21 They gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous, And condemn the innocent blood.
94:22 But Jehovah hath been my high tower, And my God the rock of my refuge.
94:23 And he hath brought upon them their own iniquity, And will cut them off in their own wickedness; Jehovah our God will cut them off.
- Prayer for the Lord's coming (vss. 1,2)
- The age-long question, “How Long?” (vss. 3-7)
- Advice to the anti-Semites (vss. 8-11)
- The blessedness of those who are taught of the Lord (vss. 12-15).
- Jehovah, the Champion of all those who trust Him (vss. 16-19).
- Nothing in common between God and the throne of wickedness (vss. 20, 21).
- Jehovah, The Rock and Redeemer (vss. 22, 23).
Psalm 94 naturally falls into seven sections, each of which is a complete unit within itself, and yet each is an integral part of the larger of the whole psalm.
An examination of the entire poem shows that the psalmist was carried forward by the prophetic Spirit and saw Israel as she will be during the Tribulation when the forces of evil will be battling against her in order to exterminate her from the face of the globe. Many Israelites will be destroyed at that time; but the faithful remnant that takes refuge in the Messiah will be preserved.
I. Prayer for the Lord's Coming
In verses 1 and 2 is a prayer that the faithful remnant of Israel will make in the Tribulation for the Messiah to return and to deliver her from all oppression. Those who thus pray will realize that they are being mistreated and handled unjustly. They will furthermore recognize that it is not for them to retaliate but to turn to God “to whom vengeance belongeth.” Moses enunciated this same principle, and the Apostle Paul confirmed it. When one is wronged by another, one should turn his case over to the Lord for vindication.
The Jehovah mentioned in this psalm is none other than Jehovah, the Son, the Messiah of Israel and Redeemer of the world. Israel will have learned that to Him belongs all vengeance. Moreover, she will have learned about His coming in glory and power to deliver her — when she penitently turns from her wickedness, confesses her national sin, and accepts Him. She will therefore pray, “shine forth.” The Hebrew word thus rendered refers to His shinning forth in His splendor. This will occur at His second coming. This remnant will continue to pray for Him to lift Himself up, because He is the Judge of the earth and will “Render to the proud their desert.” When Israel thus learns these facts and turns to the Messiah, He will come in response to her plea and bring the longed-for deliverance.
II. The Age-Long Question, “How Long?”
If one will carefully study the Book of Psalms and the prophets, one will see that this question, “How long?” was constantly upon the lips of the men of God. The Apostle Peter declared that the prophets who foretold the grace that would come unto us sought “what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the suffering of Christ, and the glories that should follow them” (I Peter 1:10,11).
By reading verse 3-7 of Psalm 94 one sees that the psalmist was given a vision of Israel as she will be persecuted by her foes. For the time being her enemies will triumph over her. They will prate and speak arrogantly. The leaders boast themselves. They break in pieces the children of Israel and afflict His heritage — devastate Palestine, as is seen in Psalm 74. Those ruthless officials and the enthusiastic supporters will delight in slaying the windows, the orphans, and the travelers in Israel. Echoed in verse 6 and 7, which is the language of the anti-Semites, we see what the Jews will be saying to them. The sufferers, in substance, will call their persecutors' attention to the fact that God will take vengeance upon them for their wickedness. In reply they will say, “Jehovah will not see, Neither will the God of Jacob consider.” This language shows that the atheists of that day and time will consider the God of Israel a mere figurehead and in substance they will therefore say to them, “Your God is unable to take into consideration what is being done by you, His devotes.” There are those today who think of God in a similar manner. The time will come however — after it is too late — when they will awake to the realization of the fact that God is omnipotent and that He is the one in whom we live, move, and have our continual being. Moreover, they will learn that He will exact from everyone justice and will deal with each according to the merits of His case.
III. Advice to the Anti-Semites
The psalmist, by the Spirit of God, addresses these haters of Israel in the following word:
Consider, 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 nations, shall not he correct, Even he that teacheth man knowledge?
Jehovah knoweth the thoughts of man, That they are vanity” (vss. 8-11).
According to the psalmist these atheistic anti-Semites are beastly, living on the level of the brute creation and are fools. They say in regard to Jehovah that He will not hear or see. In reply the psalmist shows how unreasonable such an attitude is. God created the ear which is capable of receiving and interpreting sound. The same thing is true with reference to the eye which receives the light. He who created these organs of the body certainly understands the principles governing light and sound. He therefore can hear, see, and understand everything that is done. Moreover, He is the one who chastens the nations for their wrong doing. Thus the psalmist informs the enemies of Israel that God will chasten them for their actions and attitude toward His ancient people Israel. God being omniscient realizes and so states that the thoughts of man are but vanity and empty words.
IV. The Blessedness of those who are Taught of the Lord
In verse 12-15 the psalmist pronounced the man blessed whom God chastens and teaches out of His law in order that He may give him rest from the days of adversity until the pit be digged for the wicked. God deals with every person, whether or not he realizes it. The psalmist praised God for the fact that the Almighty had dealt with Him according to His Word (see Psalm 119:65-72). God has expressed His will in His Word and will deal with all accordingly. He never chastens anyone unless there is a reason for it. At the time one is being punished by the Lord, the experience is not delightful; but it afterwards yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby.
The Lord also teaches His people out of His law. All the judgments and afflictions which the Almighty has sent upon the world have been designed to bring man to his extremity in order that he might face the realities of life and turn to God and in order that He might teach him out of His revelation.
God wants to give rest to His people from the days of adversity. We are now in school and are now being taught the lessons which will be invaluable to us when we pass to the other world. God wants to teach all but very few will listen and are willing to be taught.
In verse 13 appears a marvelous statement:
That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity,
until the pit be digged for the wicked.”
The Lord chastens and teaches His people out of His law that He may give them rest from adversity “Until the pit be digged for the wicked.” The pit here referred to is doubtless that of eternal punishment into which the wicked will be turned after they have been judged and the sentence pronounced at the judgment of the great white throne, which follows the millennial reign of Christ. The Lord will give those who are chastened and taught of Him rest from the days of adversity during the great sabbath rest that awaits the people of God, the Millennial Age. But it seems from this passage that the pit, the lake of fire, that is prepared for the devil and his angels, where the wicked will be forever and ever, is not already in existence but will be created at the end of that sabbath rest that awaits the people of God. It is true that the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire and brimstone at the beginning of the millennial reign of our Lord but that part of it into which the wicked will be cast at the judgment of the great white throne will be completely digged and prepared by the time the period of the rest for the people of God has past. This seems to the be teaching of these verses. I shall not, however, be dogmatic on this point, but the suggestion is worthy of our consideration. Let us remember that even after the great Millennial Age, the rest of the people of God, they will continue to be in His presence in the new Jerusalem which comes down out of the eternal heavens and rests upon the eternal earth, as we see in are Revelation, chapters 21 and 22.
During the Tribulation God will punish His own Chosen People double for their sins (Isaiah 40:1,2). To some it will appear He has completely rejected Israel and cast her off. In order to correct this false impression, the psalmist in verse 14 declared: "For Jehovah will not cast off his people neither will he forsake his inheritance,” for, according to verse 15, the judgment falling upon them will “return unto righteousness; And all the upright in heart shall follow it.” In other words, this prediction declares that these judgments which will fall upon Israel at that time will be designed to bring her, the faithful remnant, to the point of their accepting His righteousness and their standing for that which is right. According to the last part of this verse, all the upright in heart will follow this righteousness. By the judgments therefore of the Tribulation Israel will be purged of all wickedness and sin and will be brought to righteousness.”
V. Jehovah, the Champion of all those Who Trust Him (vss. 16-19).
When God's judgment will be falling upon the world and Israel will be suffering double for her sins, the question that will arise in the mind of at least the faithful remnant will be:
Who will rise up for me against evil-doers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (vs. 16).
Those will be serious times for the world and especially for the nation of Israel. Thus each one who desires truth and righteousness will begin to inquire of others as to who will take their part and deliver them. Their question will be answered, but who will do it? When I study Israel's situation during the Tribulation in the light of such passages as Revelation, chapter 7, I know that the 144,000 Jewish servants of God in the first part of the Tribulation, the evangelists of that day and time, will give the answer to these inquiring Israelites. They will declare that by their turning to the Lord Jesus Christ alone can they be delivered.
One should study Psalm 94:16-19 in the light of the revelation which is found in Deuteronomy 32:34-43. This passage is talking about the same time — the Tribulation, the time of Israel's calamity. It will be the time when God takes vengeance against all evildoers. He will judge His people and the people of the world. When, however He sees that their power is gone and that none are left at large, it will repent Him in regard to His servants and He will champion their cause — when they repudiate their national sin as we see from other passages.
Turning back to Psalm 94, we see that in verse 17 the answer is given:
Unless Jehovah has been my help,
My soul had soon dwelt in silence.”
These 144,000 Jewish evangelists will tell the honest-hearted ones in Israel who are upright in heart that the Messiah is their only hope. They will realize furthermore that they have been spared for a purpose — because they have been seeking the light and will accept it when it is given them. It is Jehovah who will preserve them, but this Jehovah is none other than the Messiah of whom we read in Ezekiel, chapter 34. In verses 11 and 12 of this passage He promises that He will come and will hunt out His sheep, doing it personally, after they have been scattered in the dark and cloudy and stormy day.
The individual Israelite of that time will realize that his foot is slipping according to verse 18, and that Jehovah-Messiah, through His grace, can and will help them. Then in the multitude of their thoughts, the comforting words of God will bring cheer to their souls. Thus God in the Tribulation will look after His own and will bring them through safely to the great Kingdom Age.
VI. Nothing in Common between God and the Throne of Wickedness
In verses 20 and 21 we see throne of wickedness established upon this earth and decrees of unrighteousness and injustice being issued and executed. These diabolical edicts will be issued against the faithful remnant of Israel at that time — “against the soul of the righteous,” and will condemn innocent blood. What is the throne of wickedness? When we read parallel passages, we know that this can be nothing else but the throne of the Antichrist, the last Roman emperor. He will have his throne in Rome the “the eternal city,” but in the middle of the Tribulation he will go to Jerusalem and, in the Jewish temple which at that time will have been rebuilt he will be crowned the emperor of the world. For further details regarding this point see Revelation, chapter 13.
Satan will have entered Antichrist and possessed him. In other words, the Antichrist will be Satan personified who will repudiate all obligations, who will set himself as God, and will forbid all worship except of himself. He will crush all opposition and ride roughshod over his enemies. Moreover, he will make a special effort to exterminate Israel from the face of the globe. This is seen in Psalm 58 and also in Revelation, chapter 12. But God will be Israel's refuge and protection and will preserve the faithful remnant who long for truth and who, when the message is given to her will accept it.
VII. Jehovah, The Rock and Redeemer
The psalm concludes with a note of confidence. Those constituting the faithful remnant of the future will sing:
“But Jehovah hath been my high tower,
And my God the rock of my refuge” (vs. 22).
This language reminds one of that of David in Psalm 18:1.
In the last verse Psalm 94 the vision of all the wicked being destroyed is given. The Lord will cut them off “in their own wickedness” and consign them to the place where they shall spend eternity. Yes, Jehovah the God of Israel will cut them off. Thus He cleanses the world of all wickedness and sin.
But the righteous He will establish upon this earth and will reign with them for a thousand years. Earth's Golden Era is yet in the future.