The Slander of the Enemy: Psalm 7


Psalm 7

 

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush, a Benjaminite.

1 O Lord my God, in you do I take refuge;
    save me from all my pursuers and deliver me,
2 lest like a lion they tear my soul apart,
    rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.


Never miss a story

Sign up to receive our weekly email with our original articles.

3 O Lord my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
4 if I have repaid my friend with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust. Selah

6 Arise, O Lord, in your anger;
    lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies;
    awake for me; you have appointed a judgment.
7 Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you;
    over it return on high.

8 The Lord judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.

9 Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end,
    and may you establish the righteous—
you who test the minds and hearts,
    O righteous God!
10 My shield is with God,
    who saves the upright in heart.
11 God is a righteous judge,
    and a God who feels indignation every day.

12 If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword;
    he has bent and readied his bow;
13 he has prepared for him his deadly weapons,
    making his arrows fiery shafts.
14 Behold, the wicked man conceives evil
    and is pregnant with mischief
    and gives birth to lies.
15 He makes a pit, digging it out,
    and falls into the hole that he has made.
16 His mischief returns upon his own head,
    and on his own skull his violence descends.

17 I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness,
    and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.

  

Today, the Internet is full of gossip and hearsay. People are interested in the scandals or family disputes of celebrities, in information that makes them feel good and morally superior. Language, which was originally meant to express love, has become a tool with which to accuse one other, a bloodless knife.

When God questioned Adam after he disobeyed and ate the fruit of the tree, how did Adam answer? He said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Although it seems Adam was just stating a fact, his heart was evil. Ultimately, he blamed God: “If you hadn’t given me this woman, this would not have happened.” Eve did the same, saying the serpent had seduced her. In the biblical account, God did not bother to ask the serpent.

Yet I wonder – if God had asked the snake, what would the snake say? Would he consider himself innocent? Would he accuse Adam and Eve? I think so, because Adam and Eve learned accusation from him. The New Testament teaches that this serpent, Satan, who accuses believers before God day and night, is a slanderer, a liar, a tempter, a sinner, and a ruler of death. He is an enemy of God and resists God’s truth.

>
“This is similar to slander we encounter: God is not pleased with you; you suffer because of sin, not righteousness; you are under God’s discipline; the house church is being persecuted so heavily today because of your faults!

Our Enemy Is the Devil

In Psalm 7 David (a righteous man with whom God is pleased) encounters this ancient enemy’s accusations and slander. David describes the enemy’s pursuit as if he were a lion seeking to tear him apart. This reminds us of Peter’s exhortation in the New Testament: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Gossip and slander pounce on us like a lion, leaving nowhere to turn, affecting our heart and all our social relationships. People are afraid of gossip, afraid they will become the scapegoat. David was one of those people at the center of all the attention. As a result, he encountered a lot of slander and malice.

Throughout his life, David was often in great distress and surrounded by enemies. In the midst of hardship, the enemy’s slander against David is that God is not pleased with him. God will not hear his prayers or save him, because David was evil. This is similar to slander we encounter: God is not pleased with you; you suffer because of sin, not righteousness; you are under God’s discipline; the house church is being persecuted so heavily today because of your faults! And guess what? It is not just the government who says this! Even many churches say this – doesn’t it make you shudder?

How do we respond to this slander? This psalm gives the way out. We do not respond by speaking to humans, for humans are not our enemy. Our enemy is the devil. We first turn to the living God, as David did: “O Lord my God!” (v. 1) We are to come to God and ask him to save us. 

 We also ought to come before God and make the case for our innocence: if I have done the thing others accuse me of; if I have sin on my hands; if I have treated my friends badly and robbed my enemies without reason, then let them judge. My own life and glory are nothing.

A Slandered Reputation and a Wrathful King

The first thing the enemy attacks is our reputation. Today, the charges we house churches face are of fraud, provocation, or of being cults. After the devil attacks our reputations, then he binds our bodies. We can pray like the psalmist (v. 3): “O God, if I really am defrauding others; if I really am provoking, if I am truly spreading a cult; if I am actually trying to build my kingdom on earth – if this is true, then let the enemy bind, chain, and disgrace me!”

>
“This psalm gives the way out. We do not respond by speaking to humans, for humans are not our enemy. Our enemy is the devil.

Next, we see the wrath and judgment of the supreme Judge, even in the midst of the enemy’s wrath and judgment. A great King, who judges the whole earth, will stand up for David. This King is God, who sees the heart. This gives David comfort and hope. When gossip strikes or makes him doubt God’s righteousness, he sees the King and Judge, about to strike in wrath.

We often overlook God’s wrath, righteousness, and holiness. We are afraid to pray: “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.” (v. 8) Is it possible for us to be sinless before God? Does he see us as righteous? Unless we trust in Christ and have put on his righteousness, it is indeed terrible to fall into the hands of the living God.

After David saw God’s wrath, when he looked at the wicked, he no longer saw them as vicious lions. Instead, they were like women in the midst of childbirth, pregnant with poisonous falsehoods. The wicked are digging their own graves, binding themselves to sin and death. This bitter fruit is described in James: “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

The greatest damage to a church is when gossip begins to grow from within. When believers freely judge the pastor, the elders, and those who work in the church; and when believers freely doubt the brothers and sisters around them, the devil has succeeded. The faith of God’s children has been corrupted. We are in great danger when we spend greater effort judging others than in coming to God to judge ourselves. We can begin to think that our own troubles are due to the faults of others. After all, this is what our first parents did after the Fall.

God Is Pleased With Me

When we place all our faults on our spouses, parents, churches, institutions, or nations, we are actually putting these faults on the God who made us: “He is responsible!” Instead, we ought to fall on the ground and cry, “Lord, deliver me from the evil that besets me!” When the righteous encounter the unwarranted slander of the wicked and experience the harm of gossip, the righteous know that gossip itself cannot really harm. The harm comes when we begin to believe the gossip.

>
“In times of persecution and hardship, when we are being chased by slander and gossip and are exiled from our homes, we can sing this song. As the psalmist did, we can open our mouths to praise.

When we face false accusations or when the devil accuses us, saying we have not received God’s help or salvation, we can rebuke him. We can say: “You speak lies, but God is my God. Christ has cleansed me from all sin, and I am no longer in your debt. God is pleased with me. Satan, go away, for you will perish!”

Christ rebuked Satan saying that the devil understood only human will, not the will of the Lord. If we rely on Christ to understand God’s will, we can resist the slanders of the slanderer.

In times of persecution and hardship, when we are being chased by slander and gossip and are exiled from our homes, we can sing this song. As the psalmist did, we can open our mouths to praise: “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.” (v. 17)

 

Brother Fan is a pseudonym for a preacher at an urban house church in southwest China.

    


We are using the Psalms to guide our prayers for China

In 2022, our prayer movement is turning to the scriptural prayers found in the Psalms as we pray for the Chinese church. When you join our prayer movement, you will receive weekly prayer emails and a monthly newsletter so that you too can pray for our brothers and sisters in China.

  

Share This Story

Further Reading

yifei-wong-HfLKjg2ic64-unsplash
Nanjing: Bringing the Gospel Into Life
Read More
kenneth-yang-lJWJLkwIsng-unsplash(1)
Nanjing: A Welcoming City of Newcomers
Read More
lee-shuke-h3-ZEAAt_3s-unsplash
Nanjing: A Relational Gospel
Read More

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA

With rising pressure and persecution in China, there are two challenges imperative for church leaders. The first challenge is for current leaders to love Christ above all else, and not to stray into legalism or love of the world. The second challenge is to raise up the next generation of leaders, who will humbly model Jesus even if current leaders are arrested.

WILL YOU JOIN US IN PRAYING FOR LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA? PRAY FOR:

  1. Current leaders to grow in their daily walks with Christ
  2. Current leaders to shepherd and raise up new leaders
  3. New leaders who love Christ and will model him to the world
  4. New leaders to love and care for the church

Videos

ABOUT LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

About Shenyang

Shenyang is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Liaoning Province. It is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, including the Shenyang Imperial Palace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Shenyang is also a hub for China’s heavy industry, with companies such as the China First Automobile Group and the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Shenyang

About Qingdao

Qingdao is a city located in eastern China and is famous for its beaches, beer, and seafood. The city is home to several landmarks, including the Zhanqiao Pier and the Badaguan Scenic Area. Qingdao is also a major port and has a thriving economy, with industries such as electronics, petrochemicals, and machinery.

Videos

Stories from Qingdao

About Xiamen

Xiamen is a city located in southeastern China and is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful coastal scenery, including Gulangyu Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is also a hub for China’s high-tech industry, with companies such as Huawei and ZTE having research and development centers in Xiamen.

Videos

Stories from Xiamen

About Chongqing

Chongqing is a city located in southwestern China and is a major economic center in the region. The city is known for its spicy cuisine, especially its hot pot dishes, and is also famous for the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric dam. Chongqing is also home to several historic sites, including the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Videos

Stories from Chongqing

About Nanjing

Nanjing is a city located in eastern China and is the capital of Jiangsu Province. It is one of China’s ancient capitals and has a rich cultural history, including the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, the Nanjing City Wall, and the Confucius Temple. Nanjing is also a modern city with a thriving economy and is home to several universities, including Nanjing University and Southeast University.

Videos

Stories from Nanjing

About Changchun

Changchun is a city located in northeastern China and is the capital of Jilin Province. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and is home to several historical landmarks such as the Puppet Emperor’s Palace and the Jingyuetan National Forest Park. Changchun is also a hub for China’s automotive industry, with several major automobile manufacturers having their headquarters in the city.

Videos

Stories from Changchun

About Guangzhou

Guangzhou, also known as Canton, is a city located in southern China and is the capital of Guangdong Province. It is one of the country’s largest and most prosperous cities, serving as a major transportation and trading hub for the region. Guangzhou is renowned for its modern architecture, including the Canton Tower and the Guangzhou Opera House, as well as its Cantonese cuisine, which is famous for its variety and bold flavors. The city also has a rich history, with landmarks such as the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall, the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, and the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. Additionally, Guangzhou hosts the annual Canton Fair, the largest trade fair in China.

Videos

Stories from Guangzhou

About Kunming

Kunming is a city located in southwest China and is the capital of Yunnan Province. Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its mild climate, Kunming is a popular tourist destination due to its natural beauty and cultural diversity. The city is home to several scenic spots, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Stone Forest, Dian Lake, and the Western Hills. Kunming is also famous for its unique cuisine, which features a mix of Han, Yi, and Bai ethnic flavors. The city has a rich cultural history, with ancient temples and shrines like the Yuantong Temple and the Golden Temple, and it’s also a hub for Yunnan’s ethnic minority cultures, such as the Yi and Bai peoples.

Videos

Stories from Kunming

About Shenzhen

Shenzhen is a city located in southeastern China and is one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolises. The city is renowned for its thriving tech industry, with companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI having their headquarters in Shenzhen. The city also has a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and parks. Shenzhen is also known for its modern architecture, such as the Ping An Finance Center and the Shenzhen Bay Sports Center. Despite its modernization, Shenzhen also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with landmarks such as the Dapeng Fortress and the Chiwan Tin Hau Temple.

Videos

Stories from Shenzhen

About Chengdu

Chengdu is a city located in the southwestern region of China, and the capital of Sichuan province. It has a population of over 18 million people, and it is famous for its spicy Sichuan cuisine, laid-back lifestyle, and its cute and cuddly residents – the giant pandas. Chengdu is home to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where visitors can observe these adorable creatures in their natural habitat. The city also boasts a rich cultural heritage, with numerous temples, museums, and historical sites scattered throughout its boundaries. Chengdu is a city of contrasts, with ancient traditions coexisting alongside modern developments, making it an intriguing and fascinating destination for visitors to China. 

Videos

Stories from Chengdu

About Beijing

Beijing is the capital city of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 21 million people. The city has a rich history that spans over 3,000 years, and it has served as the capital of various dynasties throughout China’s history. Beijing is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in China, including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the Temple of Heaven. The city is also a hub for political, cultural, and educational activities, with numerous universities and research institutions located within its boundaries. Beijing is renowned for its traditional architecture, rich cuisine, and vibrant cultural scene, making it a must-visit destination for travelers to China.

Videos

Stories from Beijing

About Shanghai

Shanghai is a vibrant and dynamic city located on the eastern coast of China. It is the largest city in China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of over 24 million people. Shanghai is a global financial hub and a major center for international trade, with a rich history and culture that spans over 1,000 years. The city is famous for its iconic skyline, which features towering skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai Tower. Shanghai is also home to a diverse culinary scene, world-class museums and art galleries, and numerous shopping districts. It is a city that is constantly evolving and reinventing itself, making it a fascinating destination for visitors from around the world.

Videos

Stories from Shanghai

give

A short message about partnering with us.