Sunday, August 25, 2013

Reputation on the Line

"But You, O LORD, have mercy on me; raise me up, that I may repay them." Psalm 41:10

David is under great stress. The warfare seems insurmountable. His enemies are persecuting him with their words and lies. His reputation seems on the line. They are out to destroy him, but God...

God is his Vindicator. The LORD is the One who "delivers him in times of trouble" (vs. 1). "The LORD will protect him and preserve his life" (vs. 2). The LORD "will bless him...and not surrender him to the desire of his foes" (vs. 3). David first recognizes who God is and reminds himself of God's promises.

David goes on in his prayer to admit his own sin to God and tell Him about the things happening to cause him such unrest, all the while asking for healing. He explains that his enemies wish him harm, speak falsely about him and spread rumors. Even his close, trusted friend whom he fellowshipped and shared meals with has "lifted up his heel against" him (vs. 9). Sounds like he's been beat up one side, and down the other, but God...

God is his safe place. The One he runs to in times of trouble. He pleads with God, "have mercy on me" (vs. 10) for his foes have been unmerciful. He prays, "raise me up" and be the lifter of my head. The enemy wants him to believe his lies, but David knows better! He can hold his head up because he and God know they are not true. He may feel like his reputation is at stake, but instead of justifying himself to those that are against him, he turns to God and trusts Him to secure his reputation. He is the only One who can right the wrongs.

David also asks for God's mercy so "that [he] may repay them" (vs. 4). He asks the LORD for opportunity to show his enemies that he is walking in forgiveness and harbouring no malice toward them. He desires to repay the evil with good. David is a man who strives to live life with integrity, even in the midst of strong adversity.

When I am thought or spoken of poorly, I have learned to first check my heart. I ask God to examine it and show me "if there is any offensive way in me" (Psalm 139:24). I ask Him to reveal to me if I've done something wrong, so I can quickly make it right. If I find that my heart is clean and my motives were pure, I forgive the one(s) speaking against me and take my situation to the LORD, asking Him to be my Vindicator and the healer of my hurting heart. He is my Defender, the One who clears my name and upholds my reputation. My response to adversity should always be integrity.

Father, thank You for the peace that walking with integrity brings. Thank You that even though we are sometimes wronged, You have the power to make things right. Thank You Lord that we don't have to please the world; we need only live to please You. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

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