Years ago I was on the freeway, caught in slow going traffic. Suddenly, a car hit mine, pushing it into the car on my right. The person who caused the accident admitted his brakes had failed and that his insurance would pay. There was some damage to our cars, but it wasn’t serious.
A day or two later, I received a call from the husband of the woman driving the car that I had hit. He informed me that his wife and son were in the hospital with whiplash and back injuries! And he was looking for a big settlement.
I knew that he was lying. Yet he called back several times to pressure my wife before finally giving up. Nevertheless, I had been accused of something I had not done.
One Guarantee in Life
It goes without saying that at some point in our lives we will all be persecuted. Accused of some kind of wrong doing and shame and dishonor will be brought against our good name when we are totally innocent. It’s the nature of the world we live in.
In such a position, how do we react? What is the godly response to false accusations?
David, King of Israel had no shortage of experience with false accusation and betrayal. King Saul sought to take his life, his own son Absalom sought to take his Kingdom, and he was often hated without cause. David sums up the intense feelings of betrayal in Psalm 109.
“They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. In return for my love they are my accusers,…,” Psalm 109:3-4, NKJV.
Nothing hurts more than to have close friends turn against you. They know you well, and what they say is doubly hurtful. But David relied on a spiritual tool. Prayer.
“…they are my accusers, But I give myself to prayer,” Psalm 109:4.
David knew that God would hear him when he prayed because he had already established an intimate and close relationship with his Creator. He took his turmoil to God. This is the remedy that every one of us has when we are placed in difficult and vexing situations.
“…they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love,” Psalm 109:5.
David had given out his friendship and the support of his prayers, but was repaid in accusation and betrayal. This is almost the same language as that which Christ used in the Sermon on the Mount.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,” Matthew 5:43-44, NKJV.
Praying for our enemies is, for most of us, a mountain to climb. I can’t say it is something I like to do, nor do I do it well. Yet, Christ commands us to do so and expects us to improve, but it does help if we endeavor to have as few enemies as possible.
If repaying good for evil is God’s command for us, but we accuse others falsely, we place ourselves in grave danger. Starting at verse six and through verse twenty, Psalm 109 expresses the punishment for those who are the instruments of accusation.
“Set a wicked man over him, And let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is judged, let him be found guilty, And let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, And let another take his office…
“Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg; Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places. Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder his labor,” Psalm 109:6-11.
This section is referenced by Peter as a prophecy of the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:16-20). Peter identifies the psalmist with Jesus, and sees Judas as the one who deserved the curses after betraying the righteous Son of God. Paul tells us it is a righteous thing for God to repay with tribulation those who trouble God’s people (2 Thessalonians 1:6). In the final analysis, God is the only one able to bless and He is the only one able to curse. For Judas Iscariot, the curse fit his sin.
If we don’t maintain a close relationship with the Father. And don’t allow Christ to live His life in us, operating on the same principles by which God operates, then someone else could take our opportunity to inherit eternal life in the Family of God.
God’s calling is very high for each of us. Learning to repay evil with good is a struggle, but worth the travail. Praying for our enemies is God’s word in action. And when we practice godly principles, amazing things can happen.
by Jim Sampson