Summary: UNDESERVED, MALICIOUS, PERSONAL ATTACKS CALL FOR DIVINE VINDICATION
UNDESERVED, MALICIOUS, PERSONAL ATTACKS
CALL FOR DIVINE VINDICATION
When have you come under vicious, unjustified personal attack? What were the circumstances?
How did you feel as your attackers heaped slander upon slander to try to ruin your good name and cause you great harm?
-- like vultures circling in for the kill
-- like poachers lining you up in the sites of their rifles
-- like mockers painting you with the unfair brush of shame and disgrace
cf. David being hunted by Saul and villified by all around him; no friends standing with him; all alone with nowhere to turn for help
I. (:1-10) THE ANGEL OF THE LORD CAN TURN THE TABLES ON OUR ATTACKERS
A. (:1-3) Calling in the Heavy Artillery
1. Calling on God to Engage the Attackers
2.The Weapons of Defense
buckler and shield
3. The Weapons of Offense
spear and battle-axe
B. (:4-6) Chasing them with the Angel of the Lord leading the pursuit
1. Their evil plans
"seek my life"
"devise evil against me"
2. Their embarrassing predicament
"ashamed and dishonored"
"turned back and humiliated"
"like chaff before the wind"
"their way be dark and slippery"
3. Their energetic pursuer = the angel of the Lord
"driving them on"
"pursuing them ".C. (:7-8) Catching them in their own nets of destruction
1. Unjustified attacks
"without cause they hid their net for me"
"without cause they dug a pit for my soul"
2. Unexpected retribution
"let destruction come upon him unawares"
"let the net which he hid catch himself "
"into that very destruction let him fall"
D. (:9-10) Response to Deliverance = Refrain of Praise
1. Awesome God -- "Who is like Thee"
"my soul shall rejoice in the Lord"
"it shall exult in His salvation"
2. Awesome Deliverance -- saving against all odds
"delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him"
"and the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him"
II. (:11-18) MALICIOUS PERSONAL ATTACKS MAKE NO SENSE WHEN THEY ARE UNDESERVED
A. My Compassion When They Were in Need
"my clothing was sackcloth"
"I humbled my soul with fasting"
"my prayer kept returning to my bosom"
"I went about as though it were my friend or brother"
"I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother"
B. Their Malicious Personal Attacks When I was Vulnerable
"malicious witnesses rise up"
"they ask me of things that I do not know"
"they repay me evil for good to the bereavement of my soul"
"at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together"
"the smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me"
"they slandered me without ceasing"
"like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth"
C. (:17-18) Response to Deliverance = Refrain of Praise
III. (:19-28) THE RIGHTEOUS JUDGE WILL SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
A. (:19-21) Plea for Vindication against those:
1. "who are wrongfully my enemies" and "rejoice over me".
2. "who hate me without cause" and "wink maliciously"
3. who speak against me with deceitful slander
4. who bear false witness against me
B. (:22-23) The Judge Who Sees All Cannot Remain Silent
C. (:24-26) Plea for Vindication
D. (:27-28) Response to Deliverance = Refrain of Praise
1. Corporate Refrain of Praise
2. Personal Refrain of Praise
* * * * * * * * * *
1) Do we have any examples in our own life of how the Lord has rescued us from those who attacked us without cause? How did the Lord deal with them?
2) What do we do when we experience the frustration of the psalmist who tried to humble himself and seek the Lord in prayer, but found that “my prayer kept returning to my bosom”? Sometimes does it seem like we are just praying to our four walls?
3) This is one of the “How long” psalms (cf. vs. 17). Why do you think God’s clock doesn’t always correspond to our clock?
4) Do we really have a sense that the Lord “delights in the prosperity of His servant”?
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