12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
In the conclusion of the Psalm, the faithful petitioner is returned. Once again the heart of the Psalmist is revealed and the faithful response to God’s law is demonstrated. One should not be deceived that they can live as the unrepentant while praying the prayers of the faithful. One cannot pray for the afflicted (v. 12) while they produce the affliction (v. 7-9).
The apostle Paul taught on the subject of accountability (Rom 14:12). Likewise, Peter taught on the responsibility of accountability (1 Pet 4:5). Finally the author of Hebrews affirms the requirement for accountability (Heb 4:13). The modern reader who denies responsibility for their behavior cannot reside in the New Covenant. Christ taught not only that our actions would be held up but our very words (Matt 12:36). Only “the wicked” refuses to acknowledge that all people will stand before God and be judged by their obedience to God’s law.
Our God must be a God who judges these things. Thus the Psalmist can petition the Lord to comfort the fatherless and destitute. This is done with violent and exhaustive judgment against the wicked (v. 15). By this the Lord is King and His reign is established. The afflicted hearts are redeemed and God’s law is upheld.