This broadcaster has 469 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
February 17, 2022 7:00 am
You could title this message slandered yet singing some of you are receiving that kind of abuse right now and I just want you to know this message is particularly for you.
Glad you joined us on the truth pulpit with Don green founding pastor of truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio hi Bill, right, and Don, as always, is teaching God's people. God's word.
Have you ever been slandered.
So how did you respond well today is Don continues in a series called, set apart for God still shows how King David in the Old Testament reacted to those who were spreading vicious falsehoods about him and how as with David, our response to slander can serve as a means of glorifying God in a lost and dying world. Open your Bible to Psalm chapter 7 as our teacher brings us part one of a message called slandered yet singing here on the truth pulpit will start by looking first of all, at the prayer of the slandered the prayer of the slandered and as you go through this opening section of David's prayer in Psalm seven you'll find three different aspects of of the prayer that he makes it stands out and gives us gives us a lot of guidance for how to respond vertically to this most serious and painful trial weather comes at work, whether it comes in the body of Christ weather comes from some other source may be in the neighborhood or whatever the case may be, you know we've all, if we live the Christian life. Any length of time we've all felt this to 1° or another. I can think of pastimes and employment situations where bad things were said about me to my boss and in on just the difficulty of coming to grips with those things and so it's with much sympathy for you that I preach this message here by way of encouragement for you.
How is it that we approach God and how should we think in perspective to God and in such times as this.
Let's look first of all, at the prayer of the slandered and David starts with Jesse. He starts by declaring his trust.
He declares his trust and that's what you should do also. Make it your first response to that kind of trial to declare your trust in God and from the very start. David entrusts himself to God's hands. No matter what the outcome of the slander might be located there. In the opening two verses, he says, O Lord my God in you. I have taken refuge, save me from all those who pursue me and deliver me or he will tear my soul like a lion dragging me away.
While there is none to deliver. And if you look at verse 14 will jump ahead just a bit. You can see that this this person that David was praying about 10 and responding to was someone who was saying false things about him.
In verse 14 he says this about his adversary says behold, a travails with wickedness and he conceives mischief and brings forth falsehood. David's adversary was saying false things about him in a way that jeopardized him and his position and so David starts by praying and informing his trust in the Lord, rather than going immediately into the problem. That's at stake in their something very instructive and this takes a great deal of spiritual self-discipline to to do and to make this your first response rather than something that's you know your sixth or seventh option when the trial comes upon you. You and I all know we know that there is a temptation when we are slandered to go on the counteroffensive we see and we talked to strategic people who might be able to reverse the situation for sore and are more carnal moments we figure out how to strike back and you know and how to get our own pound of flesh out of the situation well.
David doesn't do that.
David runs to God in this time, a slander like we run for shelter in the rain and so he says there in verse one O Lord my God in you. I have taken refuge, save me from all those who pursue me and deliver me and so this opening prayer frames the whole the whole Psalm and the whole difficulty with an attitude of trust that David is going to unfold hit the things on his heart is going to lay forth the whole situation and lay it forth. Honestly, before God, but he starts and he frames it with an attitude of trust and that's what you and I need to do as well. He trusts God even though he realizes and recognizes that his enemy is in a position to maul him like a lion.
Moles its prey.
Look at it there in verse two says God if you don't save me, he will tear my soul like a lion dragging me away.
While there is none to deliver the danger that David was in was real, and yet his response was one of trust. He turns to God in prayer in the first the framing nature of his supplication before God is God I trust you here no matter what else I trust you here for what's going to take place and so his trust is expressed in confidence in the Lord and also with the sense of I can come to you and lay this out before you now talk about this more at the end of the message. What I'm about to say. One of the wonderful things about being a Christian is being slandered is as we have the Lord our Lord understands this throughout his earthly life. Our Lord was slandered in the subject of false accusations. I mean people called them bills of old that the king of demons and and refer to them in that in that manner.
Well, that that was totally unrighteous that was totally wrong and the fact that the Lord endured that abuse gives us confidence that when we come to him, he will receive us sympathetically because he knows what it's like we have more as we study the song and even David had David cries out to Yahweh and knows that God will be the covenant keeping God to him. We have seen Christ come Yahweh has revealed himself in human flesh in his walk through this very dark valley himself and come out safe on the other side. So when we appeal to Christ in the midst of this trial of slander we can know the were well received and that he that he hears our prayer and he he knows the best about us, even if others refuse to believe it such a great comfort forest. It's like a magnet that draws us to Christ. It draws us to him to know that he's like that that he is been there and he's recorded for us in his word, a song like that that encourages us to to draw upon him, and to draw near to him in the midst of it to wonderful encouragement and this is how this is how you pray when you're being slandered. You start out by declaring your trust in the Lord. The second, David goes further here and you call this little sub point mute good.
The main point here is that you is the prayer of the slandered in the first sub point was you declare your trust. Secondly, a second sub point hears me some point be if you want to do it that way is to define your innocence.
Define your innocence and I there's a lot to say here. As we look at verses three through five. What we find in verses three through five. Is this is that David had examined his life before he prayed for help, and that is a powerful restraint against us a powerful restraint against a wrong spirit as we pray. He says in verse three, O Lord my God. Notice it's the he addresses them in the same way as he did in the opening verse, O Lord my God verse one, verse three, O Lord my God, and notice that that first-person singular pronoun.
The possessive pronoun. My God, oh you are my God as I cry out to you, you're my king in this. You are my your my fortress, and my refuge. Mine I call out to you my God and he shows forth the integrity with which he is praying in these verses, he says, O Lord my God, if I have done this specifically if there is injustice in my hands.
If I've rewarded evil to my friend Ruth plundered him, who without cause was my adversary says Lord, if I done any of these things then all except the consequences of it. I invite your discipline upon me, Lord of these things were true about me let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it and let him trample my life down to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. So that's an amazing prayer and and you see that is not praying out of a sense of bitterness or revenge as he speaks. Here he has his honestly examined his heart. This is not the immediate reaction at the first sound of someone speaking against him. He stepped back in his looked at his life here. Now David is not claiming absolute sinlessness as he prays here you know.
His songs are full of confessions and and in other places what he saying here is this he is saying that the ground of this particular slander against me is false and he appeals to the omniscience of God, who knows all things to verify and to vindicate him in his claim that Lord the ground of the slander is not true. You know this so Lord reminds me of the way that Peter appealed to the Lord's omniscience in John chapter 21 Lord asked him three times.
Peter do you love me Peter do you love me Peter do you love me, asked him three times because Peter had denied him three times.
A short time earlier and at the third time Peter was broken and he was convicted because he saw the parallel between his denials and the affirmations of his love. And so in humble brokenness. He says Lord you know all things you know that I love you and he appeals to the omniscience of Christ to verify what's in his heart.
Even though his life would seem to be a direct contradiction of the love that he was now claiming well in a like manner. Here, David is appealing to the omniscience of God and opening himself up and saying, Lord, if any of these things are true, you can let this happen, and I won't complain and you see the integrity of it.
You see something remarkable about this prayer this prayer in Psalm seven is not a blind demand that God take his side against his adversary. David has reflected on his own life before he began to pray.
David has examined his own heart. David has has looked at the situation and reflected on it and thought about it and said is there anything in me that that justifies these accusations that are coming my way and after an honest examination so honest and so accurate that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He could appeal to God to take note of it. He can offer his life and his reputation and his position. He can offer it to the dust because he knows that he is done no wrong. Look at it there in verse five says if any of these things are true. God let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, let him trample my life down to the ground and lay my glory in the toughest God let them walk all over me if there's any truth to it. But Lord you know that there's not and I know that there's not and that's why I there is integrity in my prayer for you to be my refuge in this situation because father you know that there is nothing true about it.
Well that's pretty challenging is pretty convicting. It's almost kinda scary isn't it. If were honest with ourselves because the truth is is that when were slandered in even if her slandered completely falsely and there's just absolutely no truth to it, and I understand my friends that happens to us happens to you. At times I realize that and I understand it, but what makes it scary to pray this way is that if were honest and if we saw ourselves in light of the holiness of God. Even if this that particular slander is not true. There's a whole lot of other things about us that are true, that are sinful that are wrong in our lives and we need to be. We just need to approach all of these things with a great deal of humility, but in the context of this particular slander that David was facing. He can offer his life to the dust in the presence of God because he is not done anything wrong. So we be slandered even when there is absolutely no basis for what we see is who and in why do I scald this. This section of the Psalm defining your innocence.
Well beloved. It's a good thing for us to do this when slander comes our way. It's a good idea to look in the mirror before you pray to God about someone who is opposing you know, sometimes our critics are right. Sometimes they have right things to say about us.
And if that's the case, and then we need to just humbly receive it even if it's presented in a bad spirit, we need to humbly receive. It is from the Lord and let it be an measure of correction against us and to humble ourselves and receive that and repent.
But that's not this case in Psalm seven. I understand that it's often not the case when you're being slandered in your own life.
What we see here in these opening five verses of Psalm seven is this is it. When the assault is untrue. You can appeal confidently to God for help and know that your prayer is going to be well received. I love that you know so there is a lot on the line. This is not the Psalm of insignificant incidental disagreements and petty forces that play David's life and David writing his king and his whole kingdom is on the line here and so the stakes are very high at times when this is happening and David still can trust him.
David can go and find resolution for his anxiety and a refuge in the defense and the omnipotent God of the universe. God is king over Israel for us the Christ was Lord over his kingdom.
We can go to him. We can be confident of his ultimate help now.
Third aspect of this prayer.
The slandered is it that is is to depend on God's righteousness to depend on God's righteousness that that the righteousness of God. The justice of God provides a moral structure to the universe that we can depend upon righteousness is intrinsic to God's character. He is a God who hates wickedness and loves justice. Look at us. Look at the text beginning in verse six he says, arise, O Lord, in your anger lift up yourself against the rage of my adversaries and arouse yourself for me.
You have appointed judgment. Let the assembly of the peoples encompass you in over them return on high. David says that God sees things rightly when we say that God is a God of justice. He sees things in accordance with his own standard and so his righteousness is the ground of David's appeal here. God slander is false. It is the slander is false God. It is a violation of your very character.
It is a violation of your truth, God, you are a God of truth. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life. And so when falsehood is spoken against the people of God.
Not only is it a horizontal sin. It is a vertical violation of the holiness the justice the truth and righteousness of God. And so David appeals to that Lord your own your own characters being violated here and so he says there in those verses.
Look at verse six arise lift up yourself.
Arouse yourself for me. In other words, what he saying is God don't let the situation continue unchanged God.
I'm asking you to intervene and help here vindicate me defending me against this falsehood because I cannot defend myself against it. So God, you have to help me here.
I appeal to your justice. I appeal to your righteousness here. What you see in this and you see in this Psalm is is how his knowledge of God. You see how his. His theology is informing the way that he prays he obviously is assuming the sovereignty of God over it because he assumes that God can help them in the situation.
He assumes the omniscience of God because God knows the reality of the situation. What David is done with his hands in his heart he appeals to that he knows the justice and the righteousness of God.
And so he appeals to that. This is a multifaceted appeal to the unified essence of God, where David understands his perfections. The glories of his attributes and makes God's character the ground upon which he appeals for God to come and help them.
Don't ever let anybody tell you that theology doesn't matter. I prefer Christian living. I'm not that interested in theology that that's that's that's really wicked thing to say.
Very ignorant thing to say because your theology and your understanding of who God is directly impacts the way that you live in the way that you pray if God isn't sovereign. David prays completely differently if God is a righteous God forbid the thought, then there's no grounds of appeal for justice.
David knows God, and so he prays in a particular way here with a verse eight says the Lord judges the peoples vindicate me oh Lord, according to my righteousness and my integrity that is in me. Let the evil of the wicked come to an end but establish the righteous for the righteous God tries the hearts and minds so great is the righteousness of God that he will judge the nations in righteousness is not simply that God has the power to deal with individual situations of slander God is able to judge entire nations, entire peoples, according to the standards of his truth and righteousness.
So whether it's nations whether it's individuals.
It's all equally within the power of God effortlessly see a matter righteously and judge it appropriately and in the midst of that great sovereign righteousness of God. David understands that he will protect David in the midst of this particular slander of which he speaks. Look at verses 10 and 11. He says my shield is with God who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge and a God who has indignation every day.
David knows God so well his heart and his mind have been strengthened so much by the truth of God.
Over time that he understands that God will protect him like a shield protects a soldier in combat.
Now my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ understand the what David is understand what he's doing here what he is and what is not doing this prayer by David is not a self-centered desire for ease and just wanting a situation to go well for him for his for its own sake. He's examined himself is appealing to the character of God. This prayer that we find in Psalm seven is the prayer of a man of integrity resting in the righteousness of God. Let me say that again is the prayer of a man of integrity resting in the righteousness of God. And so that righteousness that rest that integrity displays itself in trust. It displays itself in a knowledge of God. It displays itself in a transparent self examination before bringing his request to God. And so we see how he opens in this multifaceted prayer. Now that leads us to the second primary point second main point of our text and it's this it's the protection of the slandered the protection of the slandered seen how the slandered pray and how David prays in this and now we look at the protection of the slandered and David here takes and I horizontally toward those that are accusing him and there's a warning that's implicit in the text to the wicked that their falsehoods will not stand in light of who God is and in light of the way that David is prayed there. Slander cannot be successful in the end, and why is that and why is David making that statement will beloved understand it is not because David is taking vengeance into his own hand.
It's not that David is is responding and he's going to correct things by himself. His trust is in God and he explains how God in his character results in protection for him in the midst of these unjust accusations are coming against him. That's done green bringing part one of his message titled slandered yet singing to a close.
What we hope you've been blessed again by Don's current series, set apart for God, and that you will share this broadcast with a friend or loved one to find out more about this ministry go to the truth. Pulpit.com. You'll find this message along with all of Don's teaching available to you 24 hours a day. Again, that's the truth. Pulpit.com will done before we go, what would you say to the person listening who is been slandered or lied about because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
We know, my friend. I've been therein in ministry and in my personal life so I certainly feel the pain of that in my past and I know what it's like to be unjustly accused. And if that's you today. Let me just give you a word of encouragement, especially when you're being accused wrongly because of your faith in Jesus Christ, my friend, Jesus spoke directly to you in that situation and he said that you're in a position of blessing actually in Matthew 511 and 12. He said blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you, my friend, our Lord knows the truth about your situation, and he certainly knows how to keep you through the false accusations that you're suffering from. Look beyond the slander of today to the bright promise of tomorrow with the Lord who will bless you in heaven. For the persecution that you're undergoing and know that the Lord will use all of this for good for you in the end, thank you so much. A friend that's all the time we have for today.
I built right inviting you to join us again next time.
As Don continues teaching God's people. God's work there on the truthful