Psalm 109:4 In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer.
This is an interesting juxtaposition of ideas. Here is a man who has gone out of his way to befriend others – to help them, to encourage them, to seek their blessing and welfare; but in return he has received only hatred, accusation and violent opposition. How does he deal with such soul-destroying injustice?
Instead of retaliating, or going into his shell, hurt and depressed, he talks to God about it! He knows that in the final analysis, no matter what man might do to him, it is his relationship with his Lord that really matters. That is the one thing that will keep him going, that will give and maintain deep peace in his heart regardless of what happens all around him. In prayer alone he will find comfort and peace as he experiences the goodness and love of God in his soul. He knows that the One who is kind and just and merciful will understand.
Peter’s quoting of verse 8, “may another take his place of leadership”, as the grounds for choosing a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:20), confirms that this is one of the many psalms that foreshadows the experience of Jesus, our Saviour. At the hands of wicked men he suffered all that we will ever suffer, and more, and he was a man of prayer (cf. Mark 1:35 – “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed”).
We need to keep the example of David and of the Saviour in mind as the world around us becomes more and more active and vocal in its opposition to the Gospel of mercy and compassion we proclaim. The more faithful and urgent we are in sharing this Gospel today, the more we will encounter misrepresentation, misunderstanding of our intentions and motives, and personal criticism and accusations from people whose proud, self-satisfied hearts persist in resisting God’s grace, and the fact that Jesus came to “seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Perhaps the most important thing to come out of the opposition we face is for it to drive us to our knees in prayer for them! “Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer! In his arms he’ll take and shield you, you will find a solace there” (Joseph Scriven).
– Bruce Christian