We Can Be Thankful
"I will thank the Lord because He is just; I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High." Psalm 7:17
Have you ever been accused of something you didn't do? Lied about? Sought out in order to be ridiculed? Psalm 7 was written by David during his days of running from King Saul. Saul employed people to spy on David and keep him abreast of his activities. Cush the Benjaminite, whose name appears in the title as the person David is singing about, was one of Saul's men. He went as far as to lie about David to earn Saul's good graces.
Instead of returning evil for evil, David cried out to God for protection. Where do you turn when people falsely accuse you or lie about you? Most of us want to fight back. But God is pleased when we turn the other cheek. Jesus said:
"You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury; 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow." Matthew 5:38-42
David pleads to God as the Righteous Judge, asking Him to vindicate his cause. He doesn't grab his sling and go after Cush and Saul. In fact, when he was given the perfect opportunity to kill Saul, David held back.
"At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happene, David and his men were hiding further back in that very cave! 'Now's your opportunity!' David's men whispered to him. 'Today the Lord is telling you, 'I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.' So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul's robe. But then David's conscience started bothering him because he had cut Saul's robe. He said to his men, 'he Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn't attack the Lord's anointed one, for the Lord Himself has chosen him.' So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul."
1 Samuel 24:3-7
David knew what we should all remember: God looks at the motives of our hearts in His judgments of us. This fact should both terrify us and comfort us. It terrifies us when we realize no one can have pure motives before holy God. Jeremiah stated:
"The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? 'I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.'" Jeremiah 17:9-10
It comforts us because we know we stand in the righteousness of Christ. Speaking of righteousness, Paul said:
"This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of His blood - to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate His righteousness because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished - He did it to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." Romans 3:22-26
We can be thankful that God judges rightly. In Psalm 9 David declared:
"For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge." Psalm 9:4
He is our shield as David stated in verse 10 of Psalm 7. Jeremiah proclaims:
"But the Lord stood beside me like a great warrior. Before Him, my persecutors will stumble. They cannot defeat me. They will fail and be thoroughly humiliated. Their dishonor will never be forgotten." Jeremiah 20:11 NLT
We can be thankful that God fights for us. Speaking to Joshua just before his death, Moses said:
"Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God Himself will fight for you." Deuteronomy 3:22
We can be thankful God does not leave the evil unpunished. Nahum tells us this truth:
"The Lord is slow to get angry, but His power is great, and He never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays His power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet." Nahum 1:3
This psalm ends with David thanking God because He is just and praising Him as God Most High. This name of God in Hebrew is El Elyon. The first occurrence of this name is found in Genesis 14:18-22. We can be thankful that God is Sovereign over all. We see this in Psalm 97:9:
"For You, Lord, are Most High over all the earth; You are raised high over all the gods."
And Paul wrote the Colossians:
"Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth: He made the things we can see and the things we can't see - such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created by Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together. Christ is also the head of the church, which is His body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So He is first in everything." Colossians 1:15-18
Gathered manna for Psalm 7 is:
We can be thankful our God is El Elyon and praise Him as God Most High.
How does knowing God looks at our hearts terrify you? How does it comfort you? When have you seen God's righteous judgment of evil? How have you seen God fight for you? Where have you experienced God's sovereignty? What words will you use to praise God as El Elyon? Write them down and keep them in your prayer journal or Bible.
Until next time keep gathering manna, growing deeper, and gaining intimacy!
God bless and keep you,