Tuesday, April 5, 2016
God, The Righteous Judge
“Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite.” (Psalm 7:1a)
Most Jewish poetry of the time followed very strict rules of structure and meter. Shiggaion was a poem which didn’t follow those rules exactly. The name means an aberration or departure from the normal. Cush appears to have been another name for Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite. His words are described and actions are described in II Samuel 16.
O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver.” (Psalm 7:1b-2)
When David was forced to flee Jerusalem to escape Absalom. Shimei stood on the hill above throwindg dirt at David, cursing him and yelling that he was just getting what he deserved. Rather than rushing to his own defense, David trusted God to bring out the truth.
“O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.” (Psalm 7:3-5)
David did not think he was guilty, but he understood how easily we can lie to ourselves about our motives. If there was any truth to Shimei’s accusations, he asked that God allow Shimei kill him and to destroy his reputation as he deserved. He would trust God to do what was right.
“Arise, O LORD, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded. So shall the congregation of the people compass thee about: for their sakes therefore return thou on high.” (Psalm 7:6-7)
He asks that God would avenge the wrongs done by his enemies who had turned on him, and bring judgment where it was needed, even if it included him. Doing so would cause the people to draw close to the Lord. He was more concerned for the welfare of the people than for his own benefit.
“The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me. Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.” (Psalm 7:8-9)
God would judge the people, whether they stood for David or against him. He asked that God judge him as well, according to his efforts to do what was right He asked that the wickedness of the wicked be ended and those who did right be strengthened, because a righteous God was testing the attitudes and motivations that controlled people’s thinking.
“My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart. God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; he ordaineth his arrows against the persecutors.” (Psalm 7:10-13)
God protects those who have a proper attitude toward him, judging them accordingly. On the other hand, he is constantly angry at the attitudes of the wicked, and if they refuse to change, he will sharpen up his weapons of destruction, ready to execute them for their persecution of his people.
“Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood. He made a pit, and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made. His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate.” (Psalm 7:14-16)
Later Shimei would come asking David to overlook his behavior and David warned him that he would be observed at all times. If he went where he could not be observed, he would be killed, and some time later he broke the agreement and was executed because he chose to ignore the agreement. It was his own choice, just like other people who continue in sin.
“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” (Psalm 7:17)
David chose to praise God even in his struggles.