Today we continue with a series based on Psalm 27. If you haven’t already done so, I recommend listening to the first episode which covers some background thoughts on the context of the Psalm.
Now, on to today’s verse.
“Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.” (Psalm 27:12 NIV11)
The prayer progresses (from vv7-12) through:
i. Addressing God
ii. Reminding God that seeking Him is His idea
iii. A plea for acceptance
iv. An appeal to the divine nature of His love
v. A request for guidance and strength
vi A desire for protection in a specific situation
Does anything feel worse that false accusations made publicly and with some semblance of credibility?
We have a spiritual accuser: “..the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12:10 NIV11)
David’s treatment is mirrored in that of Jesus, Matt 26.59; Mk 15.24, 29, 34; Lk 23.18, 25. Jesus endured such treatment without losing his trust in his Father. He had confidence in God’s goodness just as David did – which we will see in the next two verses.
How to respond
“The key is to trust what He says and to doubt the accuser’s accusations of our unworthiness. When we do this we give up attempts to make us feel good about ourselves.” Lucado, Grace
After someone was baptised in 4th century Jerusalem they anointed the forehead (lose the shame of Adam), ears (to hear divine mysteries), nose (to become aroma of Christ), and chest (arm against the devil). Bradshaw, Early Christian Worship. It’s an unnecessary, but meaningfully symbolic way of reinforcing the truth that our shame is removed.
In his book Shame Interrupted, Edward T. Welch says, “Listen for the love, hate the shame, and have no tolerance for resignation. That’s the plan.”
With God this is possible.
What are the lessons from this verse?
- Are you facing external false accusations? If so, what does this Psalm teach you about the best way to respond?
- Similarly, are you facing internal false accusations? Has false guilt and shame got hold of you? If so, what does this Psalm teach you about the best way to respond?
- What is it about the example of Jesus that inspires you when you are falsely accused?
We will conclude today’s podcast with the song I wrote using the words of Psalm 27 verse 4.
Next week we will proceed to the next verse of the Psalm. In the meantime, please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.
Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm