On this Sabbath day, I rest in you, gracious Lord. Through your Word, give me fresh insight into your great love for me.
Read PSALM 64
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.
2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
from the plots of evildoers.
3 They sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
they shoot suddenly, without fear.
5 They encourage each other in evil plans,
they talk about hiding their snares;
they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
6 They plot injustice and say,
“We have devised a perfect plan!”
Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.
7 But God will shoot them with his arrows;
they will suddenly be struck down.
8 He will turn their own tongues against them
and bring them to ruin;
all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
9 All people will fear;
they will proclaim the works of God
and ponder what he has done.
10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
and take refuge in him;
all the upright in heart will glory in him!
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectGive thanks that Jesus speaks ‘comfortable words’* to us, calling the weary to find rest.
Tell it like it is. That’s what God wants us to do, not to pretend everything is okay. David makes a complaint to God, sharing his trouble about the way his enemies act with impunity and arrogance. They say whatever they like, hurtful and unjustified words that wound and scar (v 3). Social media is full of such uninhibited slanders, ambushing the unwary and causing untold damage. Are these not cause for taking our anger and perplexity to God in prayer? And every time we use words to tear down rather than build up, our sorrow needs to turn to repentance.
David complains, but as he works through his complaint it begins to dawn that he is not informing God of anything. There is no such thing as impunity in God’s universe. Everyone is accountable and God will even allow people to cause their own downfall by their excesses (v 8; see also Romans 1:24-26).
Eventually those who have put no control on their tongues will also have to acknowledge Jesus as Lord (v 9). David finally arrives at a perspective that will enable him to persevere even in the face of opposition. Being godly is not fruitless. It is the way of rejoicing and protection.
The influence of social media on the way we speak about others is massive. It is the ultimate hiding place for ambushes. How can we be of most influence (with children and grandchildren, for example) in providing a different model?
Thank you, heavenly Father, for receiving my prayers, even those of complaint. That you accept me as I am and where I am humbles me. Your grace and mercy lead me to thanksgiving and praise.
*The Book of Common Prayer (1928).
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