Have you ever being accused of something that you did not do? Have you ever been persecuted unjustly? Have you ever been punished for something that was not your fault? You are not the first person, and you will not be the last person to have this experience. One more thing, it may happen more than one time. Sorry for the bad news.
With the arrival of DNA testing we are witnessing an avalanche of cases being overturned because the wrong people are in jail. They were accused, persecuted, and were being punished for something that they did not do.
David in Psalm 17 cries to the Lord, because, even though he was righteous and had done nothing wrong, his enemies were persecuting him. We all experience this in our lives. How many times in school, work, among friends, and even with family, are we accused of things that we did not do?
The problem does not stop there. How many families and friendship were broken because of a false accusation? How many visits to the principal’s office, or jobs were lost because someone said and did something against us?
Some scholars believe that David wrote this Psalm right after bidding farewell to Jonathan, his friend, because Saul, the king, decided to kill him. That started a long journey fleeing from Saul. David did not do anything wrong. Saul did not like him and thought that David wanted the kingdom.
In the first verses David asks God, not only to listen to him, but also to “probe his heart.(v.3)” David is sure of his innocence, and he asks God to check him out, “My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. v.5.”
David describes his enemies and their actions with strong words: “foes”, “the wicked who assail me”, “my mortal enemies”. “They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover.” He also asks God to deal with them, to “rise up” and “confront them.”
Like they did to David, they do to us. They are wicked, their hearts are callous, and they speak with arrogance. They will track us down, they will surround us, and they are going to try to put us down.
For many years David was able to elude Saul and his troops. People think that David was very good at running and hiding, but David did not agree. For him it was God who was hiding and protecting him. This is what he confessed: “Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings…Psalm 17:7-9.” David believed that it was God’s great love for him that was keeping him safe.
My brothers and sisters, when you are persecuted for something that you did not do, pray this Psalm. Take refuge in the Lord, hide in the shadow of His wings, and know that you are the apple of His eye.
Have a blessed week,