Psalms of Honesty and Truth
Once again, David was being hounded by Saul and slandered by Saul’s men, many of whom had been David’s friends. David was championing the right cause, for he was God’s chosen king, while Saul was trying to destroy him so that one of his own sons would become king. Instead of managing the affairs of the kingdom, Saul was driven by his paranoia to pursue David and seek to kill him, and his zeal was fueled by the lies of his officers.
We all have bullies of all kinds in our lives. They appear out of nowhere sometimes. Others times they are right in your face, in your way, at your workplace. It seems there is always at least one bully in our congregations who try to thwart the efforts of good people trying to carry out the will of God.
Bullies tell untruths and put us down when we are succeeding in our work. Bullies are self motivated. They misunderstand because they are not listening, they seek power through gossip. Saying yes to God will most often mean saying no to others…and they don’t like that so they fight back with petty attitudes and sarcastic remarks. What to look for in a bully in God’s work (or anywhere else) is one who consistently complains about a job that needs to be done WHILE you are doing it! They are so selfish and out of touch with reality that bullies are not aware of the job being done right under their noses.
David had it much worse. Saul attacks David’s mind, body, heart and soul. He throws spears of doubt among the people who love David because David has said yes to God and is led by God. This is David’s reply…
Psalm 35, New Living Translation
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight against me.
2 Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
3 Lift up your spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
“I will give you victory!”
4 Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
5 Blow them away like chaff in the wind—
a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
6 Make their path dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
8 So let sudden ruin come upon them!
Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
“Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good.
I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
I denied myself by fasting for them,
but my prayers returned unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
they slander me constantly.
16 They mock me and call me names;
they snarl at me.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
I will praise you before all the people.
19 Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
20 They don’t talk of peace;
they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
21 They shout, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we saw him do it!”
22 O Lord, you know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
23 Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
25 Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted!
Now we will eat him alive!”
26 May those who rejoice at my troubles
be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
be covered with shame and dishonor.
27 But give great joy to those who came to my defense.
Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,
who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
28 Then I will proclaim your justice,
and I will praise you all day long.
What do we learn?
David handled his bullies by asking God to take care of them. David made three requests of God, and eventually He granted all of them.
2. Reward Me (vv. 11-18).
3. Vindicate Me (vv. 19-28).
How do we handle the bullies in our lives?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Help me to leave all my bullies to You. Help to wait while You do Your consistent work in me and in them. Save me. Help me to not be a bully in someone else’s life. Protect me. Help me to be all you intended for me to be and do. I will always say yes to You.
In Jesus Name, Amen