1 The Lord is a God who avenges.
O God who avenges, shine forth.
2 Rise up, Judge of the earth;
pay back to the proud what they deserve.
3 How long, Lord, will the wicked,
how long will the wicked be jubilant?
4 They pour out arrogant words;
all the evildoers are full of boasting.
5 They crush your people, Lord;
they oppress your inheritance.
6 They slay the widow and the foreigner;
they murder the fatherless.
7 They say, “The Lord does not see;
the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
8 Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
you fools, when will you become wise?
9 Does he who fashioned the ear not hear?
Does he who formed the eye not see?
10 Does he who disciplines nations not punish?
Does he who teaches mankind lack knowledge?
11 The Lord knows all human plans;
he knows that they are futile.
12 Blessed is the one you discipline, Lord,
the one you teach from your law;
13 you grant them relief from days of trouble,
till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 For the Lord will not reject his people;
he will never forsake his inheritance.
15 Judgment will again be founded on righteousness,
and all the upright in heart will follow it.
16 Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will take a stand for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had given me help,
I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
18 When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought me joy.
20 Can a corrupt throne be allied with you—
a throne that brings on misery by its decrees?
21 The wicked band together against the righteous
and condemn the innocent to death.
22 But the Lord has become my fortress,
and my God the rock in whom I take refuge.
23 He will repay them for their sins
and destroy them for their wickedness;
the Lord our God will destroy them.
What plans do you have for today? What plans do you have for this week, this month, and this year? What plans do you have for your life as it stretches out before you?
If you’re someone who’s into planning, verse 11 of this Psalm screams a warning: “The LORD knows all human plans; he knows that they are futile”. Your very next breath is dependent on the Lord of life, let alone any plan beyond that. Planning is part of living, but if we think our plans are ultimate, then we are fools, warns the Psalm.
The Apostle Paul quotes that verse in 1 Corinthians 3:20: “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” He contrasts the wisdom of the world with the wisdom of God. He declares that “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (1 Corinthians 3:19), echoing the start of his letter, “the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18). He asks, “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age?” Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:20).
Human planning is seen at its worst in verse 21 of our Psalm: The wicked band together against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. That’s Paul’s point about the cross of Jesus in 1 Corinthians. The cross reveals the wisdom of God in saving sinners. The cross reveals the foolishness of people who would murder the Son of God. The cross is a humbling reminder of just how appalling human plans can be. It’s a reminder to ensure any plans we make are caught up in God’s plan of salvation, because only that plan prevails.
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 94? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that even your next breath is given by the Lord of life? How does it make you feel that you will live beyond death because of God’s wise salvation plan?
Hands: What plans do you have for today? How can these plans get more caught up in God’s salvation plan?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for your wisdom. Please forgive my foolishness. Forgive my part in the murder of Jesus. Forgive me for being presumptuous in my planning. Please help me to better align my planning, my thinking and my living to your great salvation plan in Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.