Once again we find ourselves on an interesting parallel track as we read through the Psalms. Psalm 54 was written by David after two occasions when he was betrayed to Saul by the same enemies. You can well imagine David’s distress when despite his best efforts to outrun Saul his whereabouts were made known by those seeking favor with the king. Accordingly, David sought relief from the Lord knowing God would bring vengeance on his enemies.
I mention a parallel track with this psalm because of our study this morning in Matthew 24. Our subject is the Antichrist who will be the great enemy of God’s people in the last days before the Kingdom. Never have the saints experienced an evil man with such diabolical power. At most we face hateful despisers who are influenced by Satan, but we do not face anyone that is empowered by the in-habitation of Satan.
Satan is forever mimicking the power of Christ and he does no less here. As Christ indwells His people through the Holy Spirit, so this man is indwelt and given the abilities of the devil himself. As David had to endure the constant pursuit of Saul, so Israel in the tribulation will be vigorously pursued by the Antichrist. As David hid in the mountains and caves of southern Israel to escape detection, so Israel must flee to the mountains to escape certain death (Mt. 24:16). As David was betrayed by the Ziphites, so the tribulation will be marked with betrayals (Mt. 24:10). And, as David had to wait on vengeance, so the martyrs of that time must wait.
Waiting on vengeance is not easy. We are often very impatient when we believe we are wronged. Imagine how the martyrs must feel who because of cruel deaths want to see this peculiar promise of God fulfilled. Revelation 6:9-10 says, “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” Perhaps they and we must wait until the motive is correct. We would have destruction for our enemies because of personal offense. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is the retribution we seek. However, the more important cause for vengeance is the holiness of God. It is not about our personal feelings but about how God is offended when someone touches His anointed. It is desecration of what belongs to God. Whoever harms one of God’s own would just have well stabbed a dagger in God’s heart. God will not let it go. He does not overlook sin of any kind much less would He not grant retributive justice for those elected, called, and justified by the blood of Christ.
Notice how David lays no charge against God. There is no impetuous tantrum insisting God must act now. And so it must be with us. God will answer in His own good time—it is always the right time when it will bring the most glory to Him. Think again about those martyred tribulation saints. How will they receive vengeance? Their lot is to come back with Christ in clouds of glory to the carnage of Armageddon! This is the last and greatest battle the world will ever see—the biggest battle of all. Somehow it seems the wait is worth it. It is a horrible time for the enemy, but one outstanding victory for the redeemed. Never worry about the wait—God always makes it worth it!
Pastor V. Mark Smith