Summary: Sometimes we cannot be cleared of accusations – at least immediately – before all onlookers; but we can take our case to God. David does just that.
Some People Scandalize My Name
1. Larry Norman, the father of contemporary Christian music, wrote a few songs some of you might know: I Wish We’d All Been Ready, Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation, and Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music.
2. Although musical purists in the 1970’s disliked him, Francis Schaeffer, one of Evangelicalism’s greatest thinkers, endorsed what Norman was doing. His songs were reaching a certain segment of society and contributed toward an awakening.
3. But he was criticized for his long hair and sometimes wildly creative lyrics.
4. After being criticized for letting success go to his head, Norman wrote a song titled, “Shot Down.” It was a rock’n roll song with these lyrics:
“I’ve been shot down, kicked around, some people scandalize my name, but here I am, talking about Jesus just the same. Woa oh oh oh.”
5. We all have had times when we have been falsely accused or unfairly criticized.
6. Maybe passed up for a promotion, demoted, or fired based on misinformation . Sometimes someone has a plan to get a friend or relative into the company, so you are fired based upon some pretext, trivia.
7. It is a horrible feeling to be misrepresented by others.
Main Ideas: Sometimes we cannot be cleared of accusations – at least immediately – before all onlookers; but we can take our case to God. David does just that.
This process can be divided into three phases.
I. GRIEVING and Reasoning with God Over the Accusation (1-5)
• A form of suffering
• This accusation: treason
• Perhaps in the neighborhood of 2 Samuel 20. Saul was dead, and the tribe of Judah made David king over them at Hebron. But the rest of Israel followed Ishbosheth, Saul’s son. There were 7 years of skirmishes and off and on civil war, unprovoked.
• Saul and Ishobosheth were from the tribe of Benjamin, might explain the heading.
A. During such times, we need to take REFUGE in God (1).
1. Our best experiences with God are often in the worst of times.
2. To take refuge means to find emotional/spiritual shelter in God’s presence with us, often in prayer.
3. This often involves waiting and the passing of time.
B. We must remember that God KNOWS it if we are innocent of the accusation (2).
Carrie Baron explains: “If accusations are not true, a person is in a situation similar to being bullied. Even if one is rich, successful, famous, or “has it all,” the psychological devastation can be ruinous. If you are not believed, if you cannot fight back with the true story, if now you are distrusted and under scrutiny, the sense of helplessness is overwhelming.” [https://www.psychologytoday.com].
C. We must also WILLINGLY suffer God’s discipline if we are in the wrong (3).
1. David is arguing his blamelessness (no sinlessness) in this situation.
2. He also implying that God is right to discipline us as needed.
We can take our case to God.
II. Pleading for God to Rise as JUDGE (6-13)
A. We can ask God to set up a COURT proceeding (6-9).
• In the OT, the phrase: “May the Lord judge between you and me”
• We need to be careful, though; in Matt. 7, Jesus reminds us of the fact that the standard by which we judge others, we, too, will be judged.
• Human propensity: go heavy on the sins others commit, light on ours…
• David was asking for court to convene now. But court is often delayed.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word!…”—2 Timothy 4:1-2
“I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousands stood before Him. The court was seated and the books were opened.”
B. We need to remember that God prefers REPENTANCE over penal justice (10-13).
1. This is the lesson highlighted in the Book of Jonah.
2. My friend Joe, asked him to bring in a history paper.
3. Some of us might be like Jonah, not wanting to see evil people repent/forgiven. More of us, I hope, are like David; want to see even worst sinner reconciled to God.
We can take our case to God.
III. Anticipating God’s ACTION as Judge (14-17)
A. Illustration one: The DEVELOPMENT of evil (14)
Jesus in SOM: Adultery and murder both begin in the heart. Best way to preclude is to address it at an early stage.