1 Deliver me from my enemies, O God;
be my fortress against those who are attacking me.
2 Deliver me from evildoers
and save me from those who are after my blood.
3 See how they lie in wait for me!
Fierce men conspire against me
for no offense or sin of mine, Lord.
4 I have done no wrong, yet they are ready to attack me.
Arise to help me; look on my plight!
5 You, Lord God Almighty,
you who are the God of Israel,
rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
show no mercy to wicked traitors.
6 They return at evening,
snarling like dogs,
and prowl about the city.
7 See what they spew from their mouths—
the words from their lips are sharp as swords,
and they think, “Who can hear us?”
8 But you laugh at them, Lord;
you scoff at all those nations.
9 You are my strength, I watch for you;
you, God, are my fortress,
What jumped out at me in this psalm is verse 4. As we’ve seen with other psalms, David is not suggesting that he is absolutely innocent. He is speaking specifically of the accusations that his enemies are raising against him. The attacks of his enemies are not their response to specific sins he has committed against them. He is innocent of what he is being accused.
Dealing with false accusations is an unfortunate part of life in a fallen world. It’s no different for those serving in ministry. In fact being in a position of leadership seems to attract such false accusations.
David’s response is a prayer for justice. He wants God to deal with those who have accused him and conspired against him. He does not mention taking the matter into his own hands, but rather relies on God who is his refuge, strength, and fortress.
But what about David’s call for God to show them no mercy in verse 5? Should this be our prayer? When we are speaking of spiritual warfare and the false accusations of the father of lies, satan, then this is certainly appropriate for our prayer. We don’t pray for God’s blessings on evil itself, but rather for God’s protection and deliverance for us, and the utter judgment and destruction of evil.
But what about the people who might be “conspiring” against us, and falsely accusing us? Do we pray for God to have no mercy on them? Of course not. Keep in mind that when we say that Scripture is without error, it doesn’t mean that all of the human characters in scripture are worthy of imitation in all circumstances. This is such an example. Our Lord has called on us to live in mercy to all. We pray for those who oppose us, for God’s blessing on them, which would include leading them to repentance and forgiveness.
So my prayer is actually that I would be merciful even in the face of false accusations. But at the same time, along with David, I pray that in such times I would rely on the Lord as my refuge, strength, and fortress. I pray also for those known to me who are dealing with false accusations even now. I pray for them to rely on the Lord as their fortress and refuge as well.
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