“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.”
~Psalm 5:9a (NIV).
The compendium that is the biblical Psalms does perhaps represent—or at least it advocates—the most complete spectrum of human emotion.
In this case the psalmist is dealing with outright lies and contemptible betrayal.
No matter how ‘good’ a Christian any of us is, we will always be tempted to believe we’ve been betrayed from time to time; indeed, betrayal might often be proved to even have basis. So, then what do we do?
The Sin is Against God
David is the psalmist here in this case, as tradition would have it. And though his transgressors sin, they sin not simply against the man, David, but primarily against God (verse 10b).
Sins against us are sins against God, first and foremost. We ought to remember this ourselves for when we’re tempted to take the shortcut, not fully considering the needs and expectations of others in our decisions and actions.
Perhaps we more readily consider others betraying us and not vice versa... that’s actually a sign of sinful pride. We’re often just as likely to transgress someone else—often through our omissions—as the next person is likely to transgress us.
The Righteous – Blessed With Favour as a Shield
The psalm finishes by flipping that invocation. Gladness and joy are to be the lot for those who take their refuge in God—those not rebelling against God’s will.
This always bears thought: righteousness, fairness and justice always generally afford the purveyor of same an envelope of protection—even in this world. Not that we’re going to have a trouble-free life, but we will have God’s favour even in our trials.
This we’ll need to bear in our minds and hearts, ourselves, as these times come; it’s the assurance only God can place there and for us to be cognisant of. We can simply rest in the reality of our salvation; the securing of our localised, momentary peace—even in times of trouble.
When we’re clean and clear of sin—especially as it pertains to the response we’d like to make in reacting to cruel or callous others—we know that above all we’re finding God’s favour, over and above the issue that clouds over us in that moment. Simply knowing this helps us not react.
God is faithful and God’s justice is eventually perfect.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.