1 O Lord my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:
One thing we see continually in David’s writing is that He trusts God implicitly. He is not afraid to go to God with all of His requests, and He is also not afraid to ask God to inspect his own motives and reasons for his requests against his enemies. This psalm points this out as well as any.
Sometimes I get in a position where I may ask God to take care of a person who has wronged me, but it is really up to me to make that situation right by going tom the and asking fort heir forgiveness, or telling them I forgive them. God will not mend those fences for me.
2 Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.
3 O Lord my God, If I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands;
4 If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)
5 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.
There it is! If I have done this, then let them persecute me! What a bold statement. David actually tells God to not save him from the enemy if it was he who has caused the problem.
There are times in our lives that situations arise that are totally out of our control. I think of things like gangs, weather, political happenings, financial markets, and the like. They can become enemies of our life, and there is little we can do put pray and ask God to help us and bring down this enemy that is attacking out life. He will protect us and give us direction in these times.
But most of our troubles come from those who live around us every day. We said something to offend someone, or they did so to us. They listened to some gossip and formed an opinion, or passed on gossip that was damaging to our kids. They ignore and ridicule us behind our back. These kind of enemies are ones we need to take care of. Once again, if we ask God to help us, He will. But it is unlikely He will do anything to that enemy until we do our part.
And what is out part. Jesus gave two answers to that dilemma. The first deals with when someone offends us. Jesus said we should go to them in love and talk to them about how we feel. (Matt 18:15-17). Now this is meant to be between two believers. If you are facing a non-believer this task is more difficult, but should still be taken (at least the first and second steps).
The second part is when we realize that we did something to offend a brother or sister. Jesus tells us that it is more important to get that situation right then it is to bring Him an offering (Matt 5:23-24). This is a powerful truth. Jesus said that they will know we are His disciples by our love for one another (John 13:35). If we have unresolved hurts, they could turn into bitterness ad never be resolved. This can happen in all levels of relationships, from marriage to children to neighbors and church members. God will not intervene in these situations – we must act. If you have a situation like this in your life, please take care of it right now!
6 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.
7 So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.
8 The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
9 Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
10 My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.
David asks God to arise where He sees the enemy is wrong in their persecution. He relies on God to be the righteous judge and pledges the people will be with him on this.
Then he makes a very bold statement. He asks God to judge him according to his right doing, and his integrity. I might have a hard time asking God to do that, how about you? How is my righteousness looking today? Now I know that officially mine is as filthy rags, and Christ has put His righteousness upon me. But have I tarnished that righteousness? Do others see the good works that I have done and glorify God for them, or am I receiving the glory? Am I doing what I can to lift up those around me in prayer and maybe even with material needs?
And then judge me according to my integrity! Have a told a little white lie? Have I given the change back if the cashier gave me too much? Did I speak evil of someone behind their back? Asking God to judge my integrity is a bold request, and I admire David for doing it. I have asked God to do this, and most often He will point out an area that I need to take care of.
12 If he turn not, he will wear his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.
13 He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.
14 Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.
15 He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.
16 His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.
David knows the pots of the enemy, but is also pretty sure that he himself has done anything to make this enemy be at odds with him. So he says that all the trouble the enemy had planned for him will come upon the instead. David was pretty confident ii his own integrity and righteousness in this situation.
17 I will praise the Lord according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the Lord most high.
As in most of his writing, David ends with praising God. We should do that same, because when we commune with God, we have to remember we have just had audience with the creator of all things, and He deserves all the praise we can give Him. He will always do what is right!
I was really challenged by this study this morning. I need to take some time to look at my relationships and make sure they are in right standing. I pray you feel the same way, and maybe you could share a thought or two below.