David is tired of the backbiting and unjust attacks. He pleads; “Lord be on MY side against those who have wronged me without cause.” God will NOT disappoint him!
When reading this psalm two of David’s ‘foes’ immediately jump to my mind. The first is Saul. The second is Absalom. Both tried to kill David and take what was NOT theirs.
Saul hunted David for years without just cause. He was angry at David because God took the kingdom away from his own house. He figured that if he killed David his own sons could keep the throne. But the kingdom passing to David wasn’t David’s plans but the Lord’s.
Absalom was still angry at David for not dealing with the rape of his sister Tamar. Through subterfuge he convinced many of David’s subjects that David wasn’t listening to their needs. “The king is out of touch with the people. Now if I were king your needs would have my undivided attention.” Once he got the people following him, he forced David out.
When David is asking the Lord to intervene on his behalf, it is directed at those who persecute him without cause and based on the Lord’s righteousness. David endeavors to live a righteous life but even he knows he falls short of the mark at times. God is the one who has called David to this office and directed his life so David asks God to act on his behalf “according to Your righteousness” (verse 24b).
This brings another unjust accuser to mind. His name is Shimei. He cursed David as he fled from Absalom and even threw stones at David and his men. David didn’t allow his men to strike back at him for he said that it was possible that God had told Shimei to do this. David didn’t even lay a hand on Shimei when he retook the throne. But in the end of David’s life he made provisions for judgement to be served on Shimei through Solomon. Had David been reminded of this offense and finally decided Shimei fell into this unjust group? Or had he hidden this hurt in his heart from that day forward and finally had a way to act on it without it being by his own hand? David would not be singing God’s praises over being vindicated with this man as he was dead by then. Maybe he sang them in Heaven.
It is VERY unsettling for me when people think ill of me for no reason. It hurts even more when those people talk about you behind my back and poison others against me. I like people to like me or at least not hate me for no reason. I think we all do. But there WILL be those people who are unjust accusers.
I had an experience one time where my (first) husband came to me and told me not to be friends with one of my best friends because she was spreading horrible rumors about me. I couldn’t believe it so I went to the friend. I also went to the source that he had heard this from. His source was also one of my friends. After investigating the situation it turns out that a completely different woman had befriended my source friend and she hated my best friend. In order to hurt both me and my best friend she told my other friend that my best friend had told her this information. My source friend stopped the rumor in its tracks and it went no farther. She never would tell me exactly what was said because she said it was so vicious that she refused to even repeat it. I am EXTREMELY grateful to that friend. God worked through her and fought for me without me even being aware of it at the time the battle was raging.
Another unjust accuser actually dragged my son and his wife into court seeking custody of their children. The accuser’s accusations also included false allegations against my (second/current/final) husband and me. The worst part of the whole thing was the identity of that accuser; the children’s other grandmother. With a LOT of prayer, many court battles, and irrefutable evidence on our side things ended in our favor. It took more than three years and many agencies getting involved before everything was resolved. My heart broke for her many times and I prayed God would change her and mend the rift her actions created. That prayer was never answered in the way I hoped it would be and she is now beyond hope as she died a few years ago. I KNOW God protected my grandchildren during and after that whole mess. And He DID vindicate the rest of us in the eyes of all but our unjust accuser.
There is NO ONE better to stand beside you during any kind of conflict! I want God always as my partner. That means that I also have to be on HIS side. He will not defend me when I am in the wrong.
I have a friend going through a serious situation instigated by his ex-wife who is a wholly vicious person. He has taken to praying good things for her and for those she has enlisted to help her ruin him. This is what Jesus called us to do; “Pray for those who despitefully use you” (Matthew 5:44). Things are changing for him and I believe it is because of his prayers FOR his accusers.
David didn’t actually pray for his unjust accusers in this psalm. He asked God to take up his cause and punish them. “Let them be put to shame and dishonor” (verse 4a), “Let them be turned back and disappointed” (verse 4c), “Let them be like chaff before the wind” (verse 5a), “Let their way be dark and slippery” (verse 6a), “Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it! And let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it – to his destruction” (verse 8). David is NOT praying ‘blessings’ upon these people. He is praying that GOD give them what they deserve, NOT the mercy He offers to all.
But David DID care about the people who were unjust to him. Even while they were accusing him he STILL cared about them. “But I, when they were sick – I word sackcloth; I afflicted myself with fasting; I prayed with head bowed on my chest. I went about as though grieved for my friend or my brother; as one who laments his mother, I bowed down in mourning” (verses 13-14). David did NOT hate those who accused him unjustly. That is a true man of God and it takes God in one’s heart to accomplish this.
It takes the love of God not to hate a person who hates you. Only He can pull repair the damage done in your heart by a vicious and unjust attack. But you have to give Him that hurt before He can heal it. For myself, it was easier to forgive the person who I had never even met who maligned me than it was to forgive my daughter-in-law’s mother. I did have more compassion for her but it was always crushed right after or right before I extended it by another attack. And I have to admit to being relieved when she died. I need to ask God for forgiveness for that attitude.
Father God, forgive me for still holding onto a little hurt. I want to forgive as fully as You do. To cast it away and never pick it up again. I know I have a long way to go before reaching that point! THANK YOU that You don’t hold my false notions against me when they are aimed Your way. When I repent Your FULLY forgive me.
Help me NOT take up an unjust cause against another or spread one that is already in progress. I try HARD not to judge others but I am not always successful. Forgive me if I have done this Lord and help me repair any damage. The last thing I want is to cause hurt and harm.