Going from Greif to Gratitude

“O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.  O Lord my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

Arise, O Lord, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.  Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. The Lord judges the peoples; judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.  Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God! My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts.  Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies.  He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made.  His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.  I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” Psalm 7

David gives us a raw example of how to turn to God when suffering unjustly as a result of wickedness.  Notice that the first thing David does is to take refuge in God.  He cries out and says, “O Lord my God.”  The call is not to a distant and uncaring god, but a very personal One who is also Lord of his life.  His dependence is not in himself but on the great character of God.  In fact, what we do see of David himself is fear and anxiety.  He says that if God doesn’t hear him, his soul will be torn to pieces.  David is fully aware that the only One that can deliver him is God and not himself or an army of men.

Next, David examines his own heart and pleads to God for mercy based on his integrity.  “When David was persecuted and attacked, he was motivated to examine his life for sin, after which he called upon God to deliver him.” (Steve Lawson)  David launches a transparent prayer with a bold statement of a clear conscience in regard to the accusations he was being charged against.  He is so sure of his integrity that he invites the Lord’s judgment upon himself if God finds any fault.  David, like Daniel, was blameless when evildoers sought to charge him with wrong in exchange for his life.   That is the goal for a child of God, even though we are all sinners and will inevitably fall short.  “Blamelessness is not faultlessness; faultlessness was the condition of the Lord Jesus Christ. We never can be faultless in this life, we are in impaired human bodies; but by sanctification we can be blameless.” (Oswald Chambers) It’s an excellent habit to continually ask of ourselves and God, “Am I blameless?”

David repeats the phrase “Oh Lord my God” and calls on the Lord again and again.  He cries to God to be his help in times of trouble.  David pleads to God for deliverance from his adversity and those who are seeking to harm him.  He uses strong language.  David is very confident that He will render judgment in David’s favor based on the surety of God’s character.  He pleads for God’s justice in the form of a poem that is written with intense emotion.   David’s comfort in the face of injustice done against him is the character of God.  The Lord always renders just judgments.  To those who do not turn from practicing the things God hates, like mischief and telling lies, He is ready to act swiftly with His sword.  David says that the violence of the wicked will turn against their own heads.  Whoever does not repent has a true reason to fear.

David finds comfort by shifting his focus from the injustice done to him, to the justice that God brings on the unrighteous.  This beautiful lament ends brings us from underneath a crashing wave of sorrow to soar above the calm sky in a song of praise to the Most High—Yahweh for His righteousness.  May this be our song and prayer.

“King of kings, and Lord of lords, You act according to your infinite wisdom that we aren’t always privy to. May we rest, with pure and thankful hearts, in the wonder of who you are, especially when our circumstances don’t make any sense at all.”