Wednesday, July 24, 2013

God—the best defender

Shimei threw stones at David - Artist unknown
Shimei threw stones at David - Artist unknown

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 7:1-17

"My defense is of God
Who saves the upright in heart." Psalm 7:10

There is a story behind this psalm. It's in 2 Samuel 16:5-14. David was running away from Jerusalem and his son Absalom. Absalom had had himself crowned king in David's stead and was moving toward the capital with an army, intending to take the throne.

On David's flight from the city he met Shimei, a relative of former king Saul. "'Come out! Come out!  You bloodthirsty man, you rogue!' Shimei yelled at David while throwing stones and kicking up dust at him and his men. He went on to accuse David of  taking the throne from the house of Saul and declared that Absalom coming against him was his deserved punishment.

We read David's mild response to Shimei in 2 Samuel 16:11-13. Psalm 7 is David's reflection before God about this event. It obviously troubled him more than he let on.

In the psalm he pleads his innocence. Indeed, his innocence in his treatment of Saul is brought out in the Bible record where, several times, Saul was within David's physical reach and each time David refused to kill him. So he could honestly say, "If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, or have plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue me and overtake me" (Psalm 7:4-5).

With his conscience clear, David depended on God to defend him.

We too sometimes find ourselves in unfair situations, the target of accusations that are lies, the subjects of mean pettiness and hatred for who we are or what we stand for. At such times David's Psalm 7 response is a good example for us.

1. He invited God to search his heart.
"But establish the just;
For the righteous God tests the hearts and the minds" - Psalm 7:9.

To the best of David's knowledge, he was innocent. However, in our heart-search, if we find that we're at fault, we need to take ownership, make amends to the best of our ability, and  accept that some of our present grief may be a consequence of past actions.

2. He depended on God to defend him.
"My defense is of God
Who saves the upright in heart" - Psalm 7:10.
I love David's refusal to defend himself, both here and in 2 Samuel,  insisting, instead, that God would defend him.

Will I, will you, have such faith in God as our defender?

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to resist the temptation to defend myself in the face of undeserved accusations, persecutions, and abuse. Help me to trust You to clarify who and what is right and true in Your own time. Amen. 


The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
Bible Drive-Thru

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