But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name’s sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me (Psalm 109:21).
Here is a man who is under attack from rather unscrupulous persons. Those who attack him so bitterly are obviously not to be trusted. They are deceitful, he says. They are wicked. In other words, they are determined upon evil, and they are thoroughly unscrupulous; they do not care what they say or what they do. With lying tongues they are out to destroy.
Perhaps some of you have had this experience. Someone who has deliberately sought to slander you, to besmirch your character, or ruin your reputation, has unjustly accused you and you know just how this man felt. Furthermore, these people are wholly unjustified in this attack. He says they do this without a cause, at least as far as the psalmist David can see, and we take him to be an honest man. He sees absolutely no reason for their accusations. They are afflicting him, upsetting him, and attacking him without his having given them any reason to do so.
What shall he do? Well, what he does is beautiful. He commits the whole matter to the Lord in prayer. This closing prayer of the psalm is a marvelous picture of the right attitude, the right reaction, and the right way to handle this kind of a situation.
Notice that the first thing he does is to commit the cause to God. But you, O Sovereign LORD, deal well with me for your name’s sake. Here is a man who understands how life operates. He understands the truth behind the admonition of Scripture, both in the Old and New Testament, ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19). Vengeance is mine! Don’t you try it; don’t you attempt it. Don’t try to ‘get even,’ because if you do, you’ll only make the matter worse. You will perpetuate a feud that may go on for years, even for centuries, destroying, wrecking, damaging others, and creating all kinds of difficulties both for them and for you. No, vengeance is mine, says the Lord. I am the only one who has the wisdom adequate to handle this kind of a problem. The psalmist recognizes that and commits the cause to God.
But he also understands that God’s name is involved in all this. When God’s people are being persecuted, then God is also being persecuted. It is up to God to defend His name, not people. Recall that when Saul of Tarsus was converted on the Damascus road and the Lord Jesus appeared to Him that Saul cried out to Him and said, Lord, who are you? Jesus said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. Saul was persecuting the Christians, but when he was persecuting them, he was also persecuting the Lord. God is involved in His people’s trials. God is involved in what happens to His own. The psalmist, understanding this, commits the whole cause to God and says, God, you deal with it. It is Your problem. Your name is involved; you handle it on my behalf for Your name’s sake. Is that not a thoroughly Christian reaction?
Father, forgive me for striking back when I have been falsely accused. Help me to commit my cause to You, trusting that You know how to work these things out.