Psalm 58 brings two worlds together. It speaks of the spiritual realm where demonic entities work against the things of God, and of the earth where men rage against the Lord. Both will come to utter destruction.
David was not ignorant of these separate places and how they worked in conjunction with each other. He was well aware that Yahweh was the God of Israel, whereas God’s divine, yet rebellious, sons had set themselves up as gods over all the other nations. In this respect, many in ancient Israel understood the dynamics at play in this world much better than most people today, including pastors.
Yes, (hopefully) most ministers of the Gospel – whether true to it or not – have read Ephesians 6:12 and have gained some insight – more or less – as to the fact that humanity’s struggle isn’t limited solely to this natural plane. They have some comprehension that there are beings in another dimension that influence us here.
You’ll note that I’m trying to be careful with my words in the above paragraph. The reason is twofold:
- Apostasy in the church at large has caused many in the pulpit to stray far from the Word of God. Pastors simply don’t know it and/or understand it. Some, astoundingly – but in truth, seldom read the Bible and are not men (or women) of God as they purport to be.
- Because seminaries and Bible colleges have not taught their students to think like ancient Israelites, i.e. from the perspective of the writers of Scripture or from those receiving and reading it, the product of those schools is pastors who simply don’t understand the Word of God. Many of them consider much of it symbolic or metaphorical instead of literal. In removing from their understanding that which actually occurred and is intended to convey certain truths, they miss much that God wishes to convey.
Let’s look at Psalm 58:1-2:
Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands deal out violence on earth.
Paul is writing of the demonic realm. He’s referring to the sons of God (bene Elohim) that came onto the scene following the Tower of Babel incident when God scattered mankind. As Deuteronomy 32:8 (ESV) tells us, God placed men into nations and set His divine sons over them to rule and to point the people back to Him. These verses describe what actually happened. Those sons of God pretended to be gods. In doing so, they ruled unjustly. Because their hearts were wicked, they propagated evil and violence upon the earth to all men under their jurisdiction.
Psalm 58 goes on to describe what that looks like on earth. Wickedness is the order of the day and man dances to the tune of his evil spiritual masters. As Jeremiah 17:9 puts it:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
This creates the conditions on earth where few are righteous. As we know, man cannot be that way in his own strength. It is only through salvation in Jesus Christ that we’re saved by His blood and that His righteousness envelops us.
It seems like a hopeless situation because there truly is so much evil in the world. And it is for those who don’t know the Lord Jesus. However, consider the ending verses in Psalm 58:10-11:
The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”
Two watershed events are on the horizon for this sin-stained planet:
- The Rapture of the true church of Christ in which God removes true believers from the earth
- The Tribulation that will follow in which God will judge the unbelieving world
We who love the Lord are the righteous who will rejoice. Those who remain after God snatches us up to the clouds to be with Him forever will enter the most horrible time ever to come upon mankind. In those awful seven years, many will die in their sins. Those who turn to Jesus will be saved, but at a great cost.
At the conclusion of the Tribulation the armies and the peoples of the earth will gather in Israel on the plains of Armageddon to come against God’s holy city Jerusalem. When Jesus comes back to confront this horde and speaks the Word of God, all those assembled in that place will die horribly. In fact, Revelation 14:20 says:
And the winepress was trodden outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress, as high as a horse’s bridle, for 1,600 stadia.
In other words, as the psalm tells us: he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
The gods pulling the strings of their human minions will not escape. When Satan is bound at the end of the Tribulation for 1,000 years, we can also rest assured that the gods of the nations will in some way be neutered. Perhaps they’ll be in chains with the dragon. How do we know this? Because in the Millennial reign of Christ, there is no demonic activity on earth until Satan is let loose at its conclusion.
The lawlessness and evil that is upon us now and that will increase exponentially once Jesus Raptures His church will come to a final end. As the psalm says in giving us hope, we who are righteous can rejoice because God does indeed judge the wicked.