Marvin L. Weir
We live in a sin-sick and evil world where if righteousness and godliness is to be our course of action it is imperative we choose how to behave when we are face to face with wicked men. The tentacles and influences of unrighteousness seem to become more powerful and prevalent with the passing of every year. Let us learn several principles from the Psalmist that will serve us well in overcoming Satan’s snares in this world. May we benefit and grow stronger from meditating upon the principle of —
Trusting. “Jehovah my God, in thee do I take refuge…” (Psa. 7:1a). The ASV uses the word “trust” while the KJV uses the word “refuge.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that “David confidently prayed for deliverance from his enemies who were about to tear him to pieces like a lion…. He knew that if God did not rescue him, no one could.”
As David did, we today who seek to live righteously must possess strong confidence in God. A child of God is helpless when he does not take “up the shield of faith” in order to “be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil (one)” (Eph. 6:16). May we be persuaded that “[t]hey that trust in Jehovah are as mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abideth for ever” (Psa. 125:1).
Praying. “[S]ave me from all them that pursue me, and deliver me” (Psa. 7:1b). David knew that God was quite capable in His righteous anger of coming to his defense against his enemies (Psa. 7:6). Christians must learn that it is not military might nor man’s wisdom that will prevail against the devil and his helpers. As is forthrightly declared in the inspired Word, “Jehovah executeth righteous acts, and judgments for all that are oppressed” (Psa. 103:6). God will not forget the trials of His servants, and He will indeed act in a timely manner of His choosing!
Searching. “O Jehovah 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 was mine adversary)…” (Psa. 7:3-4). The one who seeks to be acceptable to God will search his heart to make sure sin is not the cause of Jehovah’s disfavor. We must heed Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians: “Try your own selves, whether ye are in the faith; prove your own selves. Or know ye not as to your own selves, that Jesus Christ is in you? unless indeed ye be reprobate” (2 Cor. 13:5). May we understand as did David, “If [we] regard iniquity in [our hearts], the Lord will not hear” (Psa. 66:18)!
Declaring. All people, as did David, must realize that “Jehovah ministereth judgment to the peoples” (Psa. 7:8a). It is not world leaders/ rulers that will be our judge in that Day. Thus, if we profess to be followers of Christ, let us not fear to speak out and forthrightly declare His sovereignty and righteousness. Many cower in terror and fail to boldly proclaim a “thus saith the Lord” because they fear retaliation from the immoral and spineless politically correct crowd. Let those who value their souls remember that God will reward us according to our righteousness and the cleanness of our hands (Psa. 18:20)!
Confessing. The Psalmist exclaims, “My shield is with God, who saveth the upright in heart” (Psa. 7:10). But who has God promised to save? Sin is an enemy that must be faced and not ignored. Too many simply sweep sin under the proverbial carpet and the devil remains in the driver’s seat. It does indeed matter as to whether one is striving to be “upright in heart.”
The Bible teaches that Christians must be willing to confess and repent [turn from] their sinful behavior. The Scriptures implore, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).
Warning. “God is a righteous judge, yea, a God that hath indignation every day. If a man turn not, he will whet his sword; He hath bent his bow, and made it ready” (Psa. 7:11-12). The devil loves nothing more than for the righteous to become intimidated by the unrighteous! Edmund Burke captured this thought really well in saying, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
People who honor, respect, and fear God err greatly when they refuse to boldly speak out against the forces of evil. Truth matters! The apostle Paul understood this and thus ask the Galatians, “So then am I become your enemy, by telling you the truth” (Gal. 4:16).
The threatening and scorn of the unrighteous must never keep the faithful from sounding forth the warning regarding abominable conduct. The Lord’s church on many occasions has remained silent while the devil’s false and soul damning doctrine has been trumpeted on every occasion in today’s society. Christians must not forget the words of God’s mouthpiece of old:
When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul (Ezek. 3:18-19).
One not willing to bear fruit for the Lord needs to know that the axe lieth at the root of all fruitless trees (Matt. 3:10). So beware of false prophets who dress in sheep’s clothing but are nothing but ravening wolves seeking to devour souls (Matt. 7:15)!
Praising. “I will give thanks unto Jehovah according to his righteousness, and will sing praise to the name of Jehovah Most High” (Psa. 7:17). A heart filled with gratitude and a mind that is determined to praise God for His care, concern, and wonderful blessings is not nearly as likely to be seduced by the sins of the world and the devil’s servants who “fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15)!