“It is zeal for your house that has consumed me; the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” vs. 9
We can’t possibly know the particular reasons for the psalmist’s lament, but it seems evident that a controversy has arisen and he is being persecuted for standing with the Lord. He believes that he’s being insulted as the Lord’s surrogate, and it’s almost more than he can endure. That kind of treatment can come as a surprise to us when we begin walking in the way of Jesus. There is an assumption that because we’re doing the Lord’s work we’re going to be admired and treated with respect. But that’s not how it works. Often we find ourselves taking positions that are difficult, ones that go against the popular culture and provoke ugly responses, even from those we have considered our friends. In those instances, it’s easy simply to retreat, throw in the towel, and even bury our convictions. It hurts our spirits to face the insults and negativism that go with faithful discipleship. The psalmist refused to give ground. His response was to turn back to the Lord, give voice to frustration and anger, and ask for some sign of support and affirmation. Jesus told his followers, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake,” and that is our hope too. When our cause is just, no matter how humans respond, we will receive God’s richest blessings.
Thought for the Day: What’s the most difficult position I’ve ever taken?