July 3, 2009

Going Unpunished?

Category: Bible - OT - Psalms,Theology :: Permalink

Augustine on Psalm 10, in which the wicked prosper in their sins and believe they are going unpunished:

Nobody should congratulate the person who prospers in his own way, whose sins go unavenged and who has someone to praise him.  This is the Lord’s anger, an anger all the greater.  The sinner has provoked the Lord, and deserved to suffer precisely this absence of any lashes of reproach (Expositions of the Psalms, pp. 152-153).

Later, he adds:

People consider physical blindness, which means the withdrawal of daylight, a great evil.  Just imagine, then, how great the punishment people suffer who, while their sins are a roaring success, are led to the point where God is no longer in their field of vision…. (p. 153).

So when we see the wicked prosper, it’s right to cry out to God to avenge and to punish them for their sins.  That’s what Psalm 10 itself does.  But at the same time, Augustine wants us to recognize that God’s rebukes are a mercy and the lack of those “lashes of reproach” is itself God’s wrath, as he gives men over to their sins, leading to greater punishment down the road.

Posted by John Barach @ 4:38 pm | Discuss (0)

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