The God Who Rises to Our Defense
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I was devastated. Firstly, because the accusation was false. Secondly. because it came from a coworker who chose not to confront me personally with it. Thirdly, because the pastor had sat at my table and eaten my food several days earlier and hadn’t spoken to me about the issue. Fourthly, because there was no thought about correction, repentance or reconciliation, (supposing that I had committed the evil I was being accused of) only judgment. Fifthly, because if the misinformation spread my reputation, and that of others, could be ruined.
So when I read Psalm 35 this morning I could empathize with the psalmist. David’s issue was similar to mine. He had been falsely accused (35:19-21). His enemies were determined to destroy him, to repay his good with their evil and that had left him dismayed (35:12).
While David’s prayer is pretty specific about what he’d like to see happen to those who had conspired against him (35:4-8) it appears that the only action he took against them was to take the problem to the Lord.
“Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’…O Lord, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord. Awake, and rise to my defense! Content for me, my God and Lord. Vindicate me in your righteousness, O Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, ‘Aha, just what we wanted!’ or say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’” (35:1-3, 22-25).
Without betraying the confidence of my roommate I felt I could not confront her pastor. I also did not know who the source of his “information” was so could not confront my accuser. I could do nothing to stop whatever rumours might result. I remember going to Lord and putting the whole situation in His hands and asking him to protect me and to vindicate me.
As I finished reading the psalm I could echo David's words: “May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, ‘The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.’ My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long” (35:27, 28).
The world is full of people who have the power to do us harm us even, unhappily, those we should be able to trust the most. But our expectations of God can be just as certain today as they were in David’s time. God is concerned with the well-being of His children—those who perpetrate the evil and those who are innocent of it—and He will take care of business if we will simply throw ourselves on His mercy and leave it to Him to look after things.