Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Managing Put-Down Artists

Psalm 7

I. Slander Demands Self-Examination

A. David composed Psalm 7 after Cush [a name for Saul whose father was Kish] slandered him. “Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.” (Psalm 7:1a) See 1 Samuel 24:4,5; 9-15

B. Rather than rely on himself, David turned to God for help. “O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me:” (Psalm 7:1b)

C. David did not expect other people to come to his assistance. “Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.” (Psalm 7:2)

D. David examined the possible justifications for the attack and the evidence that he had done precisely the opposite of what his accuser charged. “O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:)” (Psalm 7:3-4)

E. David did not deny that the charges would have merited punishment if they had been true.Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.” (Psalm 7:5)

II. The Lord of Providence Understands Reality

A. God is in charge of justice and ultimately He will dispense it. “Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.” (Psalm 7:6)

B. Individual situations like David’s fit into a larger pattern of God’s protective care for His people; God’s reputation is exposed in the attention He pays to His people. “So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.” (Psalm 7:7)

C. David appealed to God to handle his defense. “The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” (Psalm 7:8)

D. It is God’s business to expose wickedness and establish justice. “Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.” (Psalm 7:9) Mind and Emotions

E. Ultimately believers are happy to leave their defense to God. “My defense is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.” (Psalm 7:10)

F. God is personally concerned with evil and will utterly settle affairs with wicked people who do not repent.God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.” (Psalm 7:11-13)

III. Slanderers Self-Destruct

A. Evil thinking is at the root of bad behavior. “Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.” (Psalm 7:14)

B. The traps evil people set ultimately confound their designers.He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made.” (Psalm 7:15)

C. Evil ultimately catches up with itself.His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:16)

D. Haman was hanged on the gallows he designed. “So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.” (Esther 7:10)

E. David cut off Goliath’s head with his own sword. “So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.” (1 Samuel 17:50-51)

IV. Even Slander Should Result in Praise for God

A. The right response to malicious abuse is praise to God.I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” (Psalm 7:17)

B. History unfolds according to heaven’s pattern; evil cannot ever be the ultimate determiner of anything.This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.” (Daniel 4:17)

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