I remember a time long ago when I faced opposition because of my ministry. I decided to make some changes in the way we were doing church, and that stirred powerful people against me. I wrote a book in Portuguese about that (A Doutrina da Gravata). During that time, even though things were calm, I knew that something was going on. I could feel that people were plotting not only against me but also against the church in which I was pastor.
Plotting, as you all know means: “a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, especially a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose.” In Psalm 31 David finds himself in a situation like that. Even during the times that Saul was not pursuing him, he knew that they were plotting against him. It was not only Saul that wanted him out of the way. He had other enemies, not only foreigners but also domestic.
Have you ever been in this kind of situation, when you know that people around you are planning something against you? They do not like your ideas, your beliefs, your attitudes, and the way you do things. They do not just talk behind your back, but they plot against you. They attempt to devise ways to get you down or out.
In this psalm David can help us to deal with this kind of situation. He knows what is going on. This is how he describe it: “Psa. 31:4 Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” And “Psa. 31:13 For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life.” And “Psa. 31:20 In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men; in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues.” He knows that they are making traps for him, conspiring and plotting against him, making intrigues and accusing him. It is not a nice picture.
Another thing that David tells us is the reaction of our friends during times such as this. When people around us see what is going on they start to distance from us because they do not want to get caught in the crossfire. This is what David noticed: “Psa. 31:11-12 Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends — those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.” It is during those times that we find our real friends.
So, what should we do in this kind of situation? David basically did three things. The first one is to pray. He asked God to protect and save him: “Psa. 31:2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.” In situations like these the first thing that we must do is to present our cause to the Lord and ask Him to intervene.
The second thing to do is to trust in the Lord. If you pray but do not trust in what God can do, it will not happen. You will not get the answer for your prayer. David said: “Psa. 31:14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”” He also uses expressions such as: “Into your hands I commit my spirit”, and “you are my rock and my fortress”. David is certain that God has control of every situation and that his life was in good and powerful hands.
Finally David does what he does best, praise. He started praising God even before the situation was resolved: “Psa. 31:21 Praise be to the LORD, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.” His past experiences with God enabled him to praise the Lord even in the middle of difficult circumstances. It is the assurance of God’s love that will move us to praise and worship Him.
Therefore my brothers and sisters, if you suspect that someone is plotting against you, do as David did, put your lives in the hands of God, He is powerful, He is good, and He is worthy to be praised.
Have a blessed week,