“I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.
Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
What will he do to you, and what more besides, you deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom bush.
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek, that I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I lived among those who hate peace.
I am for peace; but when I speak, they are for war.”
This is the voice of a child of God who is suffering at the hands of the people around them. This Christian is becoming tired and weary of the fight against sin and the war against hatred in their own hearts. This Christian sees and feels the oppression of the words and blame of other people. None of us are exempt from feelings and desires for our own recognition and protection. Yet whatever we do, we always seem to be on the defensive and the voices of accusation are everywhere. People will always criticize and the enemy of our souls is always ready to find the chink of doubt in our Christian armour.
This Christian is wise. This person calls on the Lord their God and He answers them. The scripture is full of this principle and comfort. Christians love the book of Psalms, because it is full of instruction on this very issue.
“Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:12-14 NIV
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9 NIV
We should be seeking peace and that our lives are filled with God, and not ourselves. Of course, that peace is grounded on repentance and faith, and not in some romantic idea that in this world we will find peace.
“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:25-27 NIV
The issue that hurts us, is when we realize that lies are being told about our life and conduct. These are being used to cover up the bad attitudes in the life of the accuser. The desire to put each other down is something we all face and must fight. There is nothing we can do about what other people say about us, but we take it to the Lord in prayer, because we know that He sees all. Whatever other people say, our confidence is in God and He will protect his people.
God hates sins that come through speaking. This prayer outlines God’s way of dealing with lies and false witness against a person. The sharpness of our sinful words will recoil on us, and we will feel the hurt of what we have said to wound another person. The burning words we have heaped on another person, will eventually be felt by us. God has no favourites.
God hates sin and He hates the way we treat each other, and the way we speak against each other, bringing people down and ruining their reputation in front of other people. We have here a person who is seeking to live a godly life in the sinfulness of a ruined world. The references to Meshek and Kedar, refer to tribes in the Old Testament who did not live in peace with each other. This is the state of our world today. We teeter on the brink of physical war, and we fight daily, against the forces of evil in this dark world. The fight is spiritual and we cannot do it without the Lord.
We must confess our sins to Him. We must acknowledge our total guilt and seek forgiveness from God, and others around us. To get the victory over this sin, we must repent and put things right. If I pretend it’s all the other person’s fault, the issue in my own soul will never be resolved.
This is the position of every believer in God who wants to grow in holiness and to keep to the righteous way. If you are a Christian you will find this to be so. You will seek the Lord, but few around you do so. You desire a peaceful life and to share the good news about Jesus, but few may want to hear. You may speak of friendship and love, but it eludes us.
What are we to do as Christian people?
We must call on the Lord in our distress and He will answer us.
The Lord saves all who call on Him, in truth….
“They lead my people astray, saying, “Peace,” when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall.” Ezekiel 13:10-11 NIV
This is another issue….