Psalm 7: Remember that One Kid Who Hated You in Elementary School?
A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite.
Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me apart like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
Lord my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands— if I have repaid my ally with evil or without cause have robbed my foe— then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust. Arise, Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Let the assembled peoples gather around you, while you sit enthroned over them on high. Let the Lord judge the peoples. Vindicate me, Lord, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts. My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day. If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows. Whoever is pregnant with evil conceives trouble and gives birth to disillusionment. Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit they have made. The trouble they cause recoils on them; their violence comes down on their own heads. I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
Have you ever had someone not like you and you have no idea why? For the first few years of elementary school I was homeschooled. When I started going to traditional school in 3rd grade, it took a little while to get adjusted. The person I sat next to in class decided that they didn't like me on the first day. I don't know why really, maybe just because I was the new kid and she wanted to sit next to her friends. She spent a lot of the first a few months of class writing notes to our teacher complaining about me. Her distaste for me coupled with not having many friends after starting at a new school led me to believe that the issue was with me.
In this Psalm, David wonders aloud to God, is it because of something I did that this enemy is pursuing me? This enemy we know from the intro is a dude named Cush who was from the tribe of Benjamin. We actually don't have any stories about Cush in the rest of Scripture, so we don't really know much about him. But it sounds like he may have used to be an ally of David's who is now trying to hurt David. David recognizes that if it is his fault that he's in this situation, he's okay taking the fall. He would rather God's righteous justice take place than for the wicked to continue to wreck havoc...even if it turns out he's the one who is the problem.
But it seems like David is also confident: he isn't the problem. He has tried his best to live a righteous life and his enemy is violently pursuing him. If you're like me, I typically first think "what did I do to deserve this person not liking me" or "what did I do to cause this?" Sometimes conflict is 100% my fault. Trust me. Or you can ask my wife ;).
But the reality is that sometimes it's okay to realize that we are the victim in a situation. Sometimes there truly are people who are hurting you for no reason. When we can name that that's a reality, we can more confidently rest in the reality that is God's refuge. God knows what it's like to be punished for something you never did. Jesus died for telling the truth about who He is. Rest in His shelter knowing full well that He will fight our battles with us. He will be the one to avenge evil when He returns to make everything right. In the meantime, He will give us the peace and confidence in Him to stand for justice and making things right.
Challenge: What is a recent conflict you have had with someone? It could be big or small. Pray for God to help you see why that conflict happened. What was the cause?
Was it your fault? If so, ask for their forgiveness.
Was it their fault? If so, ask God to help you forgive them.
Was it just a misunderstanding? If so, reach out to them in humility for clarification.
As Christians, we are called to be reconcilers, ambassadors for peace in a fallen world.
Let's go do that.