David is seeking God’s help again with a battle. But this battle is not one fought with swords and shields. Instead it uses words to slander and slay a man.
The first thing that popped into my mind when I read the description of David’s foes was one of my own. This ‘foe’ was my daughter-in-law’s mother. She was bound and determined to ruin my son’s life and take custody of his children. David’s words, “They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them” (verse 8a) is EXACTLY how she was handled. At one point my son said, “Let her talk because she is only cutting her own throat.” Thinking back over the things she put our family through could make me bitter but I refuse to give Satan the satisfaction. I actually felt sorry for her a few times and prayed for her MANY times. The immediate issue came to a conclusion after three years of court battles in which her own words brought about her ruin. The final end was with her death two or three years ago. I regret that she never approached a place where healing could begin.
David is fighting even harder than I was. He is fighting against the words of his own king. In order to justify his pursuit of David, Saul is concocting vicious lies about him. Those who truly know David’s character are not fooled. Those serving Saul though, have no choice but to go along with his stories. Even Saul himself knows his stories to be false, yet he keeps spreading them in order to lay a trap for David.
Saul’s biggest lie is, “David is going to kill me and take my kingdom by force. He is a traitor to the crown.” His remedy is to try and kill David first. But everything he tries falls flat. He is even embarrassed before his own troops twice when David shows how easily he could have killed Saul, but didn’t. God sees to it that Saul’s traps fail. They worked no better than Wile E. Coyote’s did on the Road Runner.
Even as Saul was chasing David and slandering his name, those who trusted in God KNEW the truth about David. They knew that GOD had called him to be king next and the God Himself would see to this transition. David never raised a finger in furtherance of attaining the throne while Saul lived. After Saul’s death David contended for the throne against Saul’s only surviving son. And that son too fell into his own traps set for David.
It is NOT easy to sit by when someone is slandering you or out to ruin your reputation. The first thing you want to do is fight back in some way. The BEST way though is to pray for that person, just as David did. David not only prayed about Saul but I’m certain he prayed for him too. This is how David dealt with all his internal enemies at least. We saw that in an earlier psalm when David talked about caring for his enemy’s distress. This is also how Jesus tells us to treat those who “despitefully use” us. This is one of His directives He shared while teaching His most famous and longest sermon; the Sermon on the Mount.
Praying for those who slander you puts the ball back in God’s court. He devises their punishment or justice. He also knows how much of what they say may be truth and deals with us accordingly. Justice and vengeance belongs to the Lord. It is His job to balance the scales. And since only HE knows the hearts of man, He is the only one qualified to make the determination of what is fair and right.
Father God, thank You for all the times You have protected me against those who would accuse me unjustly. Thank You for bringing to my attention the parts of some of those accusations that were correct and required correcting in my life. THANK YOU for helping me pray for those who hurt me too! Without Your love I wouldn’t have been able to show them that love and mercy. THANK YOU also that You didn’t require me to go to them to be hurt again but gave me wisdom to steer clear of such people.
A day is coming in my nation where all who serve You will be slandered and condemned to death for holding fast to Your word. It is already a fact in many places around the globe. If I am still on the face of this earth when that day comes, Lord, help me stand against the enemy while also leaving the ultimate answers in Your hands. Help me to trust You no matter what.