Monday, August 22, 2011

I Didn't Do It, or the 12 Points to Fight off Rumors and Accusations

Psalm 26 - A Psalm of David (NLT)

Old Faithful 
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1
"Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering."
Point 1: If you are being accused or hounded by people (or a victim of rumors), and you didn't do it, Tell God.  If you can't,  then your heart probably thinks you are guilty.


If you believe that the Bible is accurate, inerrant, and the Word of God, you can trust it.  If you do not believe that, then reading this probably will only make you more confused.  Let me put it this way; if you trust the bible, then this will be awesome.  If you think the bible lies, then go play angry birds, cause this will make you angry.


So we start with David, who is innocent.  That is what the Bible says, but of what is he innocent?  


According to Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, it is likely that David wrote this psalm when he was being chased by Saul. If you remember, Saul was the Supreme Judge or King of Israel at the time. So David could submit himself to Saul for judgement or to God. But what was he being Judged for? 

It can not be for his sinless behavior toward God, since David knew he sinned and we know that no one is righteous before God. For example, Psalm 51:3:(NKJV) "For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me."

So that only leaves the "sins" against Saul, for which he was being pursued, harassed, and killed if he were caught. Even when his men suggested he kill Saul, he would not kill God's anointed. 1 Samuel 24:6-7 "And he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.” So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way."

I don't know about you, but I have been pursued by friends and companies alike who accused me of doing all sorts of things from lying through stealing.  They were wrong, did not understand what was really going on, looked at things through their own perspective without asking enough questions, and launched to verbal, emotional and at time legal redress.  I have felt like this many times, and in the last 5 years, during the worst of it, I have begun to behave like David.  I try not to attack them with word or deed.  In fact, I try to honor their vision, rather than my own, under the verse above - that they, like me, are God's.  Not easy.  Especially since my injury magnifies stress to the point of illness, but David was looking at death, not illness, and yet he followed the Lord.  So will I.

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2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and
my heart.
Point 2: If you believe in your cause strongly enough to appeal to the Lord. Ask him to judge you NOW. If you are right, he is the most powerful advocate against whom no one can stand.  If you are wrong, fixing it now will help your life immeasurably. 


There is no Jury with God.  He knows everything.  Everything.  This is how strong David felt about his actions toward Saul and God.  There is only one penalty for transgressing against the Lord, and he just asked for it to be invoked for sins against Saul, if he had committed any. Wow. That's faith.




3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

Point 3: If you defense is "I have not sinned against God," you have already lost.  If your defense is "I didn't do it, and I am following you Truth and Love," you are right! 



What's his defense?  Not, "I never harmed Saul," though that is true. Rather, he says, I know you love me and I live my your word.  Try me on my behavior and my faith.  No wonder God says he is close to the heart of God.  Again, Wow!


I have learned in the last 6 weeks that I must live in the world, so I will be judged by the people in it.  That hurts.  I am hard to understand, and very few really care.  Their lives are hard too, and they are trying to pay their bills, climb their mountains, enjoy their lives and what I am doing really does not matter all that much to them.  They don't care that my Mother in Law almost died from Lyme disease 8 weeks ago, and we have spent the whole of the summer helping her.  They don't know that I don't get paid at all, since I am as messed up mentally as you can be and not be in a hospital.  Not their concern.  So some of them judge me harshly.  Can't change that.  But I have learned to appeal to the Lord. At the end of the day, it is in his court, not the worlds, and David did it too.


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4 I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites.

Point 4:  It really does matter who you call friend.



It really does matter who you hang out with.  I spend time with hypocrites and liars all the time.  I live in the world.  I am one of them.  Yet, I go to those who Love the Lord for advice and friendship.  The others are the mission field we walk in.  Jesus showed us how.  He commanded us to go. Mark 16:15 (NLT) "And then He told them, "Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone."

So, hang with those who belong to Christ, but go into the world. 


The Heart of Darkness
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5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
Point 5:  Evil Feels Wrong.  If you do not Feel the wrongness, you need to get closer to God.


I have begun to feel evil now.  Scares me.  I can tell if I am in the wrong place with the wrong people.  It is not always their language, their activity or even their attitude.  It is more like something is missing.  You can feel the absence of the Lord.  I leave when I feel that.  It scares me.


When we visited China, we went to an active Buddhist Temple. Painted wooden statues everywhere.  I though it would not bother me, but when we say people prostrate before wood, it made me ill.  Evil is real.



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6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord,
Point 6:  Before you come before the Lord with your grievance, make sure you are clean of sin.


He washes his hands to remove sin before he comes before the Lord.  This is not arrogance, like saying, "hey, you.  You know I am clean."  Rather, he knows he is NOT CLEAN before the Lord, only before Saul.  He never forgets he is a sinner, even when pleading the unjust treatment he is getting from God's own king.



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7 singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders.
Point 7:  Be Thankful, and tell people about it.  God is NOT private.


Oddly, that is what I am doing with this article right now.  I feel I am being unjustly treated.  My wife is being harrased for doing what normal people could never do.  Our mistakes are being viewed as either stupidity or immorality. I am tired of the weight that I have to see her carry. It has always been so. 


I don't know when I turned the corner, but Anne has always been around the other side.  She can't wait to go to church, to pray before we eat, to pray just because she can.  That is new to me.  I have learned to see the wonders of the Lord within the darkness of the world.  Praise the Lord.



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8 I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.

Point 8:  Remember whose you are!


Think about this for a second.  Where is the Lord's sanctuary NOW?
.....

.....

Your Body.  Love yourself and take care of your body, because it is where the glorious presence of the the Lord dwells.



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9 Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
Point 9:  Be Sure of Yourself!


David is being bold.  He is telling the Lord not to equate what is happening with Saul with Sin. Two things strike me about this, that I have never noticed before.  First, he must believe in himself quite a lot if he makes a statement that bold to the God of everything.  Second, he is talking like that to God, and God says it is Good. ... 

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10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes, and they constantly take bribes.
Point 10:  Express your outrage at you, a follower of Christ, being treated like those who do not follow.


He draws a line in the sand about his moral behavior with people.  He points out that God's anointed is not playing fair, and is not treating him or others as he should.  David is outraged that Saul can get away with it, when he, David, follows the Lord.

He is proving Point 9.



11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy.
Point 11:  Ask for Mercy.


He states, with certainty, he is not like that.  So he asks for the Grace of God to sustain him, and rescue him.  



Point 12 Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.
Point 12: Again, Tell People about how Awesome the Lord is!


And when he is done, does he wait for something to change, like Saul to die or send a message?  NO.  He gets us, stand up, and not only praises the Lord, but does it in front of others.  That takes faith. He dives right into the rest of his life with the faith that God will not let him falter.  Click Diving In, for more on how I have dived into my life since I have learned the truth of God's word.



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