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Summary: A Song of Protested Innocence - Psalm 7 - sermon by Gordon Curley. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). A prayer for deliverance (vs 1-2)

(2). A protest of innocence (vs 3-5)

(3). A plea for vindication (vs 6-10)

(4). A proclamation of judgment (vs 11-16)

(5). A praise for righteousness (vs 17)

SERMON BODY:

• Quote: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’

• Most of us grew up reciting a version of this nursery rhyme.

• I can’t recall when I learned it,

• It was probably some-time when I was at junior school.

• But over the years I have quoted it many, many times.

• And even now as a parent;

• I still find myself saying it to my children when they have been teased or provoked.

• We say it of course;

• In the hope that this little adage is a means of building their resiliency,

• Thickening their skin,

• So that they can handle any teasing and name calling;

• That they are likely encounter in school.

• Quote: ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.’

• Of course, in reality we all know that those words are complete twaddle!

• We recognise only too well that names do hurt!

Quote: Proverbs chapter 18 verse 21:

"Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and these words spoken are either poison or fruit - you choose”.

• Words are incredibly powerful.

• They can build up, encourage, and motivate.

• But words can also tear down, hurt, and cause horrible scars

• What other people say about us matters,

• Particularly when what is said is completely wrong.

Ill:

• The Sunday tabloids today will contain a number of false stories:

• Some people’s lives may well be destroyed by these false accusations.

• Maybe it is only just a whiff of sexual or financial scandal,

• But once the story is out there - a person’s life can be ruined,

• Because even those of us who hope for the best in people end up thinking that

• ‘There’s no smoke without fire’.

• And although months or years later an apology may be printed;

• Compensation may be paid out in damages by the newspaper involved;

• Really it is all too little too late – that damage has been done!

Now you may not have been in the newspapers:

• But maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of false accusations;

• Maybe you’ve been falsely incriminated;

• Things have been reported about you which are completely wrong,

• Or you’ve been on the end of what feels like a smear campaign;

• Designed to ruin your reputation and position.

• It might be colleagues at work or neighbours in the street;

• Or even something that went through the courts.

• Then you know first-hand;

• What it feels like to be on the receiving end of someone else’s bitterness,

• Or to be excluded from a social group,

• Or to have your character, your reputation shattered into a thousand pieces.

• And everything in you cries, ‘But that’s not fair! That’s not how it was!’

• If you’ve ever felt like that, then you’re in good company with King David,

• The author of Psalm 7.

Note:

• If you were here at last week service when we looked at Psalm 6;

• Or if you listened to the MP3 audio file from the website;

• You will know that this Psalm (no 7) it is in total contrast to that Psalm (no 6)

• In Psalm 6 David confesses that he has done wrong.

• He knows that, like any wise and loving parent,

• God disciplines those he loves, and so he asked that God will be merciful to him.

• So in Psalm 6, David says to God that he knows he’s done wrong;

• And knows he deserves what’s happening to him;

• But asks the Lord for mercy, for leniency, for help.

• Now Psalm 7, however, is very different in flavour and content.

• In this psalm, David believes he is in the right, and has done no wrong.

• In fact, he is convinced that he has been wronged by others;

• And he longs for God to step in and vindicate him.

• The theme of the Psalm is:

• The vindication of David the servant of God (vs 8);

• And judgement on his enemies (vs 6)

Notice:

(a).

• The Psalm has a title: “A Shiggaion of David”;

• This is the only occasion this word is used in the book of Psalms.

• (It is only used one more time in the book of Habakkuk chapter 3 verse 1)

• The word ‘Shiggaion’ might mean ‘lament’, ‘to cry out loud’;

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