The Good, the Bad, and the … – Psalm 28

Crying for justice, the writer of Psalm 28 says,

“Repay them for their deeds and for their evil work; repay them for what their hands have done and bring back on them what they deserve. Because they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord and what his hands have done, he will tear them down and never build them up again” (Psalm 28:4-5 NIV).

How different this sounds from the cry of Jesus in his suffering on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV).

The foundational truth behind these two scriptures is that ultimate judgment belongs to God, not to us. Look at the last line in Psalm 28,verse 5 again, “… he will tear them down.” It’s not instructing us to execute judgment. Instead, it’s warning what the outcome of our deeds might be.


“Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy” (verse 6). “… my heart trusts in him, and he helps me (verse 7).

The good news is that God passed judgment on us already, found us guilty, in his mercy sent his Son to pay our debt – which Jesus willingly fulfilled, and purchased our pardon. The bad news is that refusing God’s provision for our pardon leaves us with the acceptance of the final sentence. Not a good choice.*

Psalm 28 ends with verse 9, a plea for God’s continued salvation, blessing, and care. “Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.”

By Kathy Sheldon Davis

*the good news/bad news viewpoints are also supported in later writings, the books of the New Testament.