When You Are Falsely Accused
A daily devotion for October 9th
1 O God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for wicked and deceitful men
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.
3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.
4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.
5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.
6 Appoint an evil man to oppose him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.
7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.
8 May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.
9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.
10 May his children be wandering beggars;
may they be driven from their ruined homes.
11 May a creditor seize all he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.
12 May no one extend kindness to him
or take pity on his fatherless children.
13 May his descendants be cut off,
their names blotted out from the next generation.
14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD;
may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.
15 May their sins always remain before the LORD,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.
16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
may it come on him;
he found no pleasure in blessing—
may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
it entered into his body like water,
into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the LORD's payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil of me.
21 But you, O Sovereign LORD,
deal well with me for your name's sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, O LORD my God;
save me in accordance with your love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, O LORD, have done it.
28 They may curse, but you will bless;
when they attack they will be put to shame,
but your servant will rejoice.
29 My accusers will be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.
30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD;
in the great throng I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save his life from those who condemn him.
But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me (Psalm 109:21).
Here is a man who is under attack from rather unscrupulous persons. Those who attack him so bitterly are obviously not to be trusted.
They are deceitful, he says.
They are wicked. In other words, they are determined upon evil, and they are thoroughly unscrupulous; they do not care what they say or what they do. With lying tongues they are out to destroy.
Perhaps some of you have had this experience. Someone who has deliberately sought to slander you, to besmirch your character, or ruin your reputation, has unjustly accused you and you know just how this man felt. Furthermore, these people are wholly unjustified in this attack. He says they do this
without a cause, at least as far as the psalmist David can see, and we take him to be an honest man. He sees absolutely no reason for their accusations. They are afflicting him, upsetting him, and attacking him without his having given them any reason to do so.
What shall he do? Well, what he does is beautiful. He commits the whole matter to the Lord in prayer. This closing prayer of the psalm is a marvelous picture of the right attitude, the right reaction, and the right way to handle this kind of a situation.
Notice that the first thing he does is to commit the cause to God.
But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name's sake. Here is a man who understands how life operates. He understands the truth behind the admonition of Scripture, both in the Old and New Testament,
'It is mine to avenge; I will repay,' says the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19).
Vengeance is mine! Don't you try it; don't you attempt it. Don't try to 'get even,' because if you do, you'll only make the matter worse. You will perpetuate a feud that may go on for years, even for centuries, destroying, wrecking, damaging others, and creating all kinds of difficulties both for them and for you. No, vengeance is mine, says the Lord.
I am the only one who has the wisdom adequate to handle this kind of a problem. The psalmist recognizes that and commits the cause to God.
But he also understands that God's name is involved in all this. When God's people are being persecuted, then God is also being persecuted. It is up to God to defend His name, not people. Recall that when Saul of Tarsus was converted on the Damascus road and the Lord Jesus appeared to Him that Saul cried out to Him and said,
Lord, who are you? Jesus said,
I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Saul was persecuting the Christians, but when he was persecuting them, he was also persecuting the Lord. God is involved in His people's trials. God is involved in what happens to His own. The psalmist, understanding this, commits the whole cause to God and says,
God, you deal with it. It is Your problem. Your name is involved; you handle it on my behalf for Your name's sake. Is that not a thoroughly Christian reaction?
Father, forgive me for striking back when I have been falsely accused. Help me to commit my cause to You, trusting that You know how to work these things out.
Life Application: When we are feeling attacked, hurt and unjustly treated what kind of vengeance can we absolutely count on? Where should our attitude and thoughts be focused?
From your friends at www.RayStedman.org
Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.