O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an
end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.
David’s prayer ends with a plea to God to “bring an end to the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.” But what would the world look like if the righteousness of God were absent altogether?
Thomas à Kempis, writing on the passion of the Christ, paints an unwelcoming picture: “To what lengths is justice eviscerated when the ungodly are in command! Behold how the Just One perishes and there is none to free him. The One who is true is given over to the fraudulent, and the Holy One is scourged by the unholy. The Innocent is handed over rather than the guilty; a thief is chosen over Christ, and Barabbas is released from his bonds in place of Jesus of Nazareth. The Lamb is exchanged for a wolf, a saint for a criminal, the best for the worst, a desperado acquitted rather than true God. Darkness is preferred to light, vice to virtue, death to life, scum for gold, shell to pearl, and he who is infamous is favored over him who is noble.”
—Eric Kampmann, Signposts