ABC:Psalms 92

From BibleStrength

Verse 12

Jim Meritt of Infidels as well as RationalWiki claims a contradiction exists, asking simply "Righteous live?"[1]

The obvious question to be asked is when the flourishing is to occur, this life or the next? If the next, there is no contradiction, the righteous perish in this life, but flourish in the next, and only the good die young. As Paul puts it, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (1 Corinthians 15:19) Jesus warned "in the world ye shall have tribulation." (John 16:33) Paul repeats this is in 2 Timothy 3:12 stating "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."

When reading the passages in context, it is evident that Psalms 92 is referring specifically to the righteous flourishing at the end of time, not during this life. Note for example Psalms 92:7, which states that the wicked flourish for a time during this life, but will "be destroyed for ever." Note also Psalms 92:13, which shows the flourishing is to occur after a Final Judgment, in stating "Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God." Had Psalms 92 been quoted in context, it would have been apparent that the passage is not referring to flourishing during this life but during eternity; and thus is consistent with passages like Isaiah 57:1 which show the wicked flourish for a time during this life because Satan, for the time being, is the "god of this world" who rules over the kingdoms of this Earth.

Thus there is no contradiction. As Solomon points out, "there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness." (Ecclesiastes 7:15) However, as Solomon concludes in the final chapter of Ecclesiastes,

Eternal Perspective

Meritt very dishonestly quotes only the first part of the passage in Isaiah 57:1, "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart," omitting the telling remainder of the passage. He also omits the remainder of the Psalms 92:12-13 passage; I have provided both in full here. When looked at as a whole, it becomes apparent that God is actually removing some good people from the Earth as a merciful act to them. The Bible here even specifically states what fallacy many people (including Jim Meritt) commit, that "none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness." In Psalms 92:12, when looking at the verse's context, it is clear it is referring to the next life where the righteous will prosper, since "cedar of lebanon" is a clear reference to the angels of Heaven (Isaiah 14:8-13) and "house of the Lord" a clear reference to Heaven.

Unfortunately many people look only at this life, and don't consider that God by taking good people from this life is actually taking them away from horrible evils where they would suffer. This world is where suffering and evil triumph and reign, not the next. Paul recognized that those who die in Christ go to peace and it is better to die than live as such, but recognized God wanted him to continue for the sake of others. Job also recognized this, and pleaded with God to let Him leave the suffering of this world for the peace of sheol with the righteous. Solomon considered this world so hopelessly evil he thought it better to not be born at all.

As my old pastor George Perry used to point out, why doesn't God just take us up to Heaven as soon as He saves us rather than let the new creation He's just made get messed up by the world? It's because He wants to use us to help save others and do God's work, as Paul points out, we are "bought with a price" and that not to be the "servants of men" but the servants of God. (1 Corinthians 7:23, 6:20) Once leaving this life, whether in the good or bad area of sheol, we will have no more impact on this world for good or bad; no more opportunity to serve God and advance His kingdom for eternal reward and the praise of our Creator.

Those who have not died see death as the greatest evil, an unknown. Biblically however, it is a place of peace for the unborn and righteous, and a better destination than this life; a place to be desired. Ultimately, Jesus came to free us from the fear of death which had enslaved us (Hebrews 2:14-15) that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

Verse 15

The EvilBible claims a contradiction exists here, and makes the following comments (italicized).[2]

The critic makes some serious mistakes in trying to attribute injustice and partiality to God. First of all, Genesis 9:25 contains something Noah said, not God, and that was because his son had immorally looked at his father's nudity. As a result Noah cursed his younger son. However, even IF that had been something God had said, not Noah, it would not have necessarily shown injustice or partiality since it was a condemnation of an immoral action. Using that as the primary example of God's injustice displays seriously flawed reasoning, as well as carelessness, on the part of the critic.

The critic seems to be arguing that Exodus 20:5 displays partiality because children experience the consequences of their ancestor's decisions to the third and fourth generations. This may well be a reference to disease. God punishes individuals who hate Him with diseases and physical maladies that carry over into their later generations. However, despite this God forgives those who repent, healing their lives and bodies. The critic noticeably does not mention the next verse, Exodus 20:6, which specifically states that God shows mercy to those who love Him and righteously keep His commandments.

In the Mosaic Law, God elsewhere specifically states that children are not to be put to death for the actions of their parents, or parents for what their children have done, but punishment should be based upon their individual actions. Therefore, while God may execute forms of punishment on later generations through disease, execution was to occur only when an individual had done that which was clearly evil.

Ultimately final judgment at the end of the time will be based solely on a person's actions irrespective of what their ancestors have done.

Concerning the critic's third allegation of injustice/partiality by God and Romans 9:11-13, God did determine before Jacob and Esau were born which should rule over the other. However, this is because God is able to know our personalities and what we are like inside before we're even born. Evil people begin thinking and doing evil from the womb, just as the good are known from this time as well.

However, God still pleads with those who are evil to change and do what is right, and makes clear that He takes no pleasure in the deaths of those who are wicked.

So, in conclusion, just because God knew enough of what Jacob and Esau were like while they were still in the womb to foreordain aspects of their lives, does not mean that God is unjust or impartial. It simply evinces the depths of God's knowledge and understanding to realize what kind of people we are from the moment we are created, even before we leave our mother's wombs. Furthermore, it should be pointed out that Esau, like his brother Jacob, was blessed permanently with land that God has permanently left to his descendants. (ABC:Deuteronomy 2:4-5)

Finally, the critic accuses God of injustice and partiality because in Matthew 13:12 Jesus says that those who have will be given more, and those with little will have that little taken away from them. However, the fuller context shows that this was spoken concerning knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The ones Jesus was speaking to had closed their own eyes (Matthew 13:14) because they did not want to realize the truth.

Truth is something given to those who seek it earnestly, who wish to know righteousness. Therefore it is not unjust of God to take away the understanding of those who close their eyes and ears because they don't want to know or accept the truth. God is fair and gives wisdom generously to those who seek in a right spirit by trusting God (James 1:5-6).


  1. Meritt, Jim (1992). A list of Biblical contradictions. Retrieved from
  2. Thiefe, Chris. Biblical Contradictions.