Thursday, January 12, 2006

Hear a Just Cause, O Yahweh

Hear a just cause, O LORD. (Psalm 17:1)
David is the psalm writer here. He is crying out to God for justice. The word for “just” can also be translated as “righteous.”

“Hear a righteous cause, O LORD.” David is calling on the God of Covenant. The name “LORD” (all caps) signifies the Hebrew Yahweh, the personal name of God and the name by which He entered into covenant with His people. David has a complaint, a situation that needs to be set right, and He is calling on God to fulfill the provisions of the covenant on His behalf.

Now, God is not bothered by these complaints, not one tiny bit. In fact, He delights in them, for it means that the petitioner is taking His promises seriously. That requires faith, and faith greatly pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). God wants us to bring every unjust situation before Him so that He can set it right. Isaiah gives us a good example of this. The LORD says,
I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
They shall never hold their peace day or night.
You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,
And give Him no rest till He establishes
And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
(Isaiah 62:6-7)
God made promises concerning Jerusalem, and He established watchmen who were to come before Him night and day to bring those promises before Him continually. They were to “get in His face” with the provisions of His Word.

That was under the Old Testament covenant. But now we have a new and better covenant, based upon even better promises. This new covenant is mediated to us by Jesus Christ.
But now, He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)
The blood of Jesus cries out on our behalf. The author of Hebrews says that we have now come “to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things that that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:24).

In Genesis, after he was murdered, Abel’s blood cried out to God. God spoke to Cain and said, “What have you done? For the voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). The blood of Abel had a voice and it cried out to God for justice.

(Notice also that this blood cried out from the very ground on which Abel was murdered. Even the land itself must have justice before God. But that is a discussion for another day.)

In the same way, the blood of Jesus has a voice and cries out to God on our behalf, to bring us the justice He established for us in the New Covenant. In fact, this New Covenant is established in His blood. On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took the cup and said to His disciples, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (Luke 22:20).

Under this new and better covenant, Jesus has taken our sin upon Himself and given us the righteousness of God. “For [God] made [Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

In other words, if you have received the Lord Jesus Christ, you now have a righteous cause before God. You have the right to come before Him on the basis of the blood of Jesus and have your situation set right according to the promises of God.

Under the new and better covenant established in the blood of Jesus, God’s people have the right and authority for every blessing that belongs to the righteous, for Jesus took our sin and gave us His righteousness. We can now enjoy all the benefits of the children of God, including forgiveness, healing, and prosperity. (See Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalm 103 and Psalm 112 for more on the blessings that belong to us.)

When you know the Lord Jesus Christ, His blood continually cries out before God on your behalf. It declares that you are completely righteous before Him. Bondage, sickness and want now have no right to you. Cry out for God to hear a just cause — the blood of Jesus — and claim all the promises of His covenant.