12/30/2014

Slandered, Opposed and Attacked (Psalm 7)

Psalm 7:1-17; 8

"The Lord judges the peoples; vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity" (Ps 7:8, HCSB).

What do you do when you feel misunderstood, maligned and marginalized? Psalm 7 is a lament, petition and prayer by an innocent person who was slandered, opposed and attacked by those who wanted to discredit and dishonor him. Psalm 7 is titled by three different commentaries as follows:
  1. A Cry for Justice (Ps 7:8-10). [Derek Kidner]
  2. The Blessing of a Good Conscience (Ps 7:3-5, 9-10). [Alec Motyer]
  3. Surviving Slander (Ps 7:1-2, 6, 14; 4:2; 5:6, 9). [George Zemek]
Justice. David's primary concerns and motivations were not just for his own personal vindication, but for universal justice before a Righteous Judge who examines each person's thoughts and emotions (Ps 7:8-10).

Conscience. Despite being slandered, opposed and attacked, David checked his conscience before God (Ps 7:3-5), instead of retaliating with the spirit of vengeance and revenge.
Slander. David was being ruthlessly slandered by his adversaries (Ps 7:1-2, 6, 14; 4:2; 5:6, 9). Oftentimes slander causes a deeper hurt than mere persecution, for slander accuses a person of lacking nobility and integrity. Slander does not address one's words or behavior, but cuts to the heart of one's very core inner being. Saying, "I don't agree with the words you said and the actions you took," is quite different from saying, "you are an untrustworthy and ungrateful person; you are despicable and vile."
What do you do when you are slandered, opposed and attacked? Like David, you can do the following:
  1. Pray (1-2): Seek refuge in God.
  2. Pledge (3-5): Search you heart. Don't cheat your conscience.
  3. Plead (6-11): Cry out for justice before the Righteous Judge.
  4. Ponder and Pause (12-16): Consider God's sure and certain justice.
  5. Prevail and Praise (17): Thank God!
References:

  1. Motyer, J Alec. The Psalms. New Bible Commentary. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  2. Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1 - 72: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1973.
  3. Zemek, George. Road Maps for the Psalms: Inductive Preaching Outlines Based on the Hebrew Text. Valencia, CA: The Master's Academy International, 2006. (Psalm 7: Surviving Slander.)