Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A follow-up to my thoughts on silence (Psalm 37)

In Psalm 38 David describes a series of personal attacks by his critics, in
the midst of which he finds no human help:

My friends and companions avoid me because of my wounds; my neighbors stay
far away. (Psalm 38:11).

(Ironic, isn't it: The more needy we are, the less help we naturally attract
from family and friends. Neediness is off-putting to most folks; only the
gospel corrects that injustice.)

So...David is abandoned to his opponents’ efforts to undo him.

Those who seek my life set their traps, those who would harm me talk of my
ruin; all day long they plot deception. (38:12).

Once again, David's reaction is silence:

I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his
mouth; I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no
reply. I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God (38:13).

There is a direct contrast here between the rants of David's opponents (vs.
12) and his utter stillness (Heb: "But as for me, I am like a deaf man...")--a stillness based on the
fact that God alone would answer his critics in due time, a response that mirrors
our supreme example:

Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow
His steps: "Who when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He
suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges
justly..." (1 Peter 2:21-23).


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