HOW TO HANDLE PERSECUTION, PART 17
Psalm 7:1-6: "O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah. Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded."
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Psalm 7 is David's psalm of deliverance from those who falsely accuse him. The superscription of this Psalm tells us that this is a "shiggaion -- that is an emotional lament -- of David which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite." From this title, we learn the occasion on which David was prompted to compose this psalm. Charles Haddon Spurgeon tells us in his "Treasury of David" commentary on the Psalms that "It appears probable that Cush the Benjamite had accused David of treasonable conspiracy against Saul's royal authority. This, the king would be ready enough to lend credit to, both from his jealousy of David, and from the relation which most probably existed between himself, the son of Kish, and this Cush, or Kish, the Benjamite. He who is near the throne can do more injury to a subject than an ordinary slanderer."
In this psalm, David states that the charges of his accuser are not true and defends his own innocence. Sometimes, in our own lives, we will have to deal with false accusations. People may lie on you to make you look bad in front of the world, in front of an authority figure, or to make themselves look good. People may try to trip you up and cause you to stumble into sin. People may gossip and spread rumors about you. All of this in an attempt to ruin your Christian testimony.
Well, today, I want us to look at this psalm and see how David handles people who falsely accuse him of wrongdoing.
1. David relies on God. For David, God is his refuge. In verse one he says, "O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust." Repeatedly in the Psalms, David refers to God as his "strong tower" -- that is his impenetrable protection. David knew that God had the power to save him from his persecutors. And he also knew the consequences for himself if God did not intervene on his behalf.
How many times do we fail to get the protection of God simply because we fail to ask for the protection of God? You might be saying, well, God already knows what I need. Yes, God knows what you need, but He desires to hear you express your trust and reliance on Him. This is what David does repeatedly throughout the Psalms.
Relying on God is something that is ongoing in our lives. C.S. Lewis said, "Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done."
God wants us to throw all of our cares completely on Him. He wants us to depend on Him. First Peter 4:19 says, "Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." God is faithful and He will not fail us. So, when we are falsely accused, let us choose to rely on God.
2. David faces the charges of his accuser. In verses 3-5, David prays, "O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me...Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust."
David does not run and hide when he is falsely accused. Because he is innocent, he is boldly able to say, 'God, if what my accusers are saying is true, then I am willing to suffer the punishment that I deserve.' David is not implying that he is not innocent. Rather, he is showing his innocence by opening himself up for God to examine him.
You see, if you have not done anything wrong, and you are in a right relationship with God, your life will be an open book. Just like David tells God to go ahead and examine him in the face of these accusations, we should be able to ask God and tell others to examine our lives because we are confident that we have lived righteously before God.
Proverbs 10:9 says, "He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known." If you have lived honestly and with integrity before the Lord, you will be able to face any false accusations knowing that you are innocent and thus you will not be afraid for God and others to examine your life.
3. David requests God's vindication. In verse six of our passage, David says: "Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded." Oftentimes, when we are falsely accused, we feel the need to get out there and defend ourselves. I truly believe that when a person is accused of something they did not do, the worst thing they can do is try to defend themselves. In my opinion, and based on David's actions in the Word of God, the best thing to do is to just be quiet, and let God fight your battles.
You don't need a big legal team. You don't need to defend yourself in the newspaper. You don't need to get others to defend you in public. If you are innocent, all you need is God on your side. And, as someone once said, "One with God is a majority."
David defends himself only before God, and now he calls on God to vindicate him before his enemies. In verse 8, David asks God to judge him according to his righteousness and his integrity. In other words, he wants God to show the world the truth about his life -- that what his accusers are saying is not true.
In Romans 12:19, God says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." That is, it belongs to God to inflict justice and revenge. Albert Barnes said that this verse, "implies that it is 'improper' for people to interfere with that which properly belongs to God. When we are angry, and attempt to avenge ourselves, we should remember, therefore, that we are infringing on the prerogatives of the Almighty."
My friend, God knows how to repay your enemies. You do not have to waste your time trying to defend and justify yourself in the sight of the world or even before other Christians. And may I remind you that there are some Christians who will be more eager to believe something negative about you than they would be to believe something positive about you. The best thing you can do is ask God to justify you and stop the mouths of your accusers.
In closing, When we are falsely accused, let us follow David's example.
1. Rely on God. Don't depend on anyone else but God, because He will see you through.
2. Face the charges of your accuser. If you are innocent, there is no need to run and hide. You can honestly say to God and the world as David did, "examine me and see if there be any wicked way in me."
3. Request God's vindication. Do not try to defend yourself. Let God take care of your enemies because He truly knows how to best take care of them.
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Now, if by chance, you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to share with you how you can accept Jesus Christ into your heart and life today.
First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God's laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says "the wages of sin is death..." This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.
But here is the good news. John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of sixteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3.