TAKE REFUGE IN GOD
Eternal Lord, I thank you for the wisdom of Scripture that guides me through the complexities of daily life. I want to live in you and for you.
Read PSALM 7
A shiggaion[b] of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.
1 Lord my God, I take refuge in you;
save and deliver me from all who pursue me,
2 or they will tear me apart like a lion
and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
3 Lord my God, if I have done this
and there is guilt on my hands—
4 if I have repaid my ally with evil
or without cause have robbed my foe—
5 then let my enemy pursue and overtake me;
let him trample my life to the ground
and make me sleep in the dust.[c]
6 Arise, Lord, in your anger;
rise up against the rage of my enemies.
Awake, my God; decree justice.
7 Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
while you sit enthroned over them on high.
8 Let the Lord judge the peoples.
Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness,
according to my integrity, O Most High.
9 Bring to an end the violence of the wicked
and make the righteous secure—
you, the righteous God
who probes minds and hearts.
10 My shield[d] is God Most High,
who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
a God who displays his wrath every day.
12 If he does not relent,
he[e] will sharpen his sword;
he will bend and string his bow.
13 He has prepared his deadly weapons;
he makes ready his flaming arrows.
14 Whoever is pregnant with evil
conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment.
15 Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
16 The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.
17 I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness;
I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
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.
Reflect‘He that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him,/ And makes me poor indeed,’ (Shakespeare, Othello). Have you ever been the victim of slander? How did it feel? What did you do?
David has been slandered by a former ally, quite viciously it would appear (v 2). He believes he is innocent, but humbly requests that, if he has caused offense, God would allow this enemy to defeat him. In his hurt and anger, David turns to God, rather than trying to get revenge. His appeal to God is not just for his own benefit. He realizes that many people look up to him and rely on him, so for their protection, he asks God to save him (vs 8,9). Look at what David says about God in this psalm in verses 1,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,17. Which of these appeals to you the most? Which are you uncomfortable with? How do you reconcile comfortable and uncomfortable characteristics of God?
Paul too faced slander and criticism from some of the Corinthian Christians, and his reaction also challenges us to consider how we would behave in similar circumstances. He also pointed to God rather than trying to justify himself.
Try writing a psalm of a personal situation. What aspects of God’s character will you appeal to? What are you asking him to do and are you able to end in praise, as David did?
Mighty God, I acknowledge before you that criticism is not easy for me to handle. I want to leave any criticism of me in your hands because you know the truth and I must answer to you.
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