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Signs and Satire

Signs and Satire
Psalm 7:1–17; John 12:37–50
The images of judgment in Psa 7 and John 12 are sometimes hard to take. We are so acquainted with a God of love that it’s difficult to understand a God who blinds eyes, hardens hearts, and “has indignation every day” (Psa 7:11). While these passages paint a picture of a judging God, they also emphasize how foolish and evil people can be—specifically focusing on those who push the boundaries of God’s mercy and thus eventually find themselves outside of it.
In Psalm 7, God is preparing to judge the evil man. Suddenly, the psalm switches focus to the evil man’s situations: “See, he travails with evil. He is pregnant with trouble, and he gives birth to deception. He makes a pit and digs it out, then falls in the trap he has made” (Psa 7:14–15). The evil man’s folly is directly correlated to God’s just judgment. God is ready and willing to forgive those who repent. But the evil man dwells in evil—he conceives it and is intimately connected to it. He gives birth to it. What’s more, he is willingly walking into his own punishment. His actions of digging a pit and falling into his own trap expose his foolishness—that he has effectively judged himself, as “His trouble comes back on his head, and his violence comes down on his skull” (Psa 7:17).
The same sentiment is expressed in John 12: “But as many signs as he had performed before them, they did not believe in him” (John 12:37). The Jews in this passage had ample opportunity to believe Jesus’ words. They had even seen miracles. But because of their unbelief, they brought about their own judgment. And although they had an opportunity to believe, they abandoned it; thus, it was “taken away.”
Both passages illuminate the folly of the decision to disobey. Both passages show that the judgment brought on those who disobey is really their own doing.
Are you hesitant in your commitment to Jesus? What is keeping you from devoting totally to Him?
Rebecca Kruyswijk

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