The Wicked Twist Our Words And Malign Our Motives
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise-
in God I trust and am not afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
5 All day long they twist my words;
all their schemes are for my ruin.
6 They conspire, they lurk,
they watch my steps,
hoping to take my life.
7 Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
in your anger, God, bring the nations down.
Fear is Folly
David recognizes that his heart fears certain outcomes. Like a man trapped in a burning building with no place to go, the anticipation of the pain of his flesh being consumed by fire is not pleasant. David recognizes that to fear man is folly. After all, what can mere mortals do to him?
Train to Trust
Instead, David had trained his heart to trust in God. God and God alone is the one who can save us, deliver us, provide for us, protect us, and vindicate us. David lets us know that the first place that his heart went during his times of fear was to trust in the Lord God Almighty. David made it a practice in his mind to direct his will to trust in God when his emotions were overwhelming him with fear.
When we place our trust in God rather than in men, riches, idols, or even ourselves, we can rest in the peace that God gives to us that defies understanding. God greatly desires that we come to Him first with our problems and our difficulties. He knows about all of them, but desires a greater dependence from us upon Him as well as a strengthening our relationship with Him. It is in times of great distress and need that we see exactly who or what we trust in. David chose to make God his first option, and he was rewarded for it with the praise of God:
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’
One of the tactics of the enemy is to twist the words of their opponents to misrepresent their position or their intent. This enables them to attack the person by turning attention on their enemies. This tactic is also used by those who practice the art of sleight of hand (magicians). They intentionally misdirect your attention to where they want you to look so that you will not see what they are doing. It provides them with cover to do all sorts of mischief.
For instance, let us say that two people disagree on something. Person A believes that they are correct in believing that the sky is falling. Person B says that the sky is not falling, that the droplets of water coming down are rain. If person A wants to misdirect others concerning person B, they could characterize the words of the person B as disparaging them with regards to some aspect of their physical nature rather than with a philosophical or factual/observational disagreement.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that person A has greatly increased melanin in their skin, and person B does not. Person A could then say it is because of their skin color and racial prejudice that person B disagrees with them. This deflects from the true reason that the disagreement has taken place, and positions person A as a victim of racism and person B in the position of racist. This type of posturing and twisting of words evokes an emotional response from both person B and anyone who hears the argument. The mere re-characterization of the argument as one of race rather than fact/observation deflects the requirement for person A to defend their position and assassinates the character of person B. In this scenario, it is a total win for person A:
- Public trust in what person B is saying is now destroyed through the accusation or racism
- Person B’s position is seen as the position of a racist, and since it is characterized as such, may be rejected on this basis rather than on any factual or scientific basis
- Person A no longer has to defend their position in fact or science, and receives sympathy from the public, regardless of the validity of their position
- Person A’s standing in the public as a victim of a hate crime bolsters the emotional support of the public for anything else person A has to say
- Person B is unlikely to challenge person A’s positions any longer, knowing the societal cost that they will have to endure should person A falsely accuse them again.
David lists some of the other tactics that his enemies have used against him:
- Their every scheme is for David’s ruination
- Their lives have become consumed with ways to discredit and ruin David. This is the act of vengeful people.
- They conspire against him
- They use their collective resources to act in a way to entrap or otherwise cause David to fail. A favorite tactic of the enemies of God, they look to the past to dredge up anything that their enemy may have done that can be used to embarrass him, disparage his character, or cause public opinion to be soured against him.
- They lurk about
- Imagine having someone follow you every second of your day, recording what you say and do, looking for anything they can use to take out of context to give you a bad name. Welcome to David’s life.
- They watch his very steps
- If David breaks the law unknowingly, they will be there to witness it, accuse him of it, and see that justice is swift (usually with paid witnesses).
Judge with Justice
David consoles himself in the character and nature of God. He remembers that God is a holy, righteous, and just judge. David calls upon God to remember the wickedness of his enemies, and to judge the nations. David’s enemies have failed to grasp the love of God as displayed in His mercy and grace towards them, seeking only the destruction of God’s chosen servant, David. Rather than take matters into his own hands, David rightly gives his life into the hands of the living God – He who is righteous and will deliver him from all evil. For those who have been justified by God, who can bring an accusation against him?
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: When faced with enemies, who or what do you turn to first?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, it is You who have redeemed me from the miry muck. You have cleansed me of my sin through the blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Since You have removed my sin from me as far as the East is from the West, no one can lay a charge against me. Give me shelter and sanctuary when my enemies seek to destroy me. Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do. Protect me from those who seek my ruination, who conspire against me to assassinate my character. For I am found in Christ Jesus, and it is His character and His name that I take, and it is His name that they smear and disparage. Give me strength to endure, and may Your love be displayed in my thoughts, words, and deeds, as my enemies surround me to do me harm. Blessed be Your name, Lord God. Amen.