THE PSALMIST’S CLAIM PSALMS 94:4
THEY SPIT THEIR SPITE
HARD THINGS How long shall they utter and speak hard things?
HAUGHTY THINGS and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?
The word “utter” implies to pour out like a fountain of water. The question being posed is how long will there be a drenching deluge of verbal dribble. “Hard things” suggests that this oral flood is harsh, calloused, and inconsiderate. This is a swampy torrent of insensitive, barking, shrill intonations. These are pounding words that have grating inflections, and gouging innuendo.
How long is God our Father going to allow a stormy climate in a downpour of words that are exultant and cutting? David in 2 Samuel 16 is under the gun by Absalom, his son, who has turned the majority of the Israeli population against the King. Absalom did it by clever hard words, flooding the kingdom with lies about his dad the King. He victimized, slandered, and defamed David’s character. He played on peoples discontent and pulled off a massive smear campaign, that resulted in a total anarchy.
It is possible that this Psalms is written from this backdrop.
David is journaling his feelings to God. David escapes the insurgency and as he is fleeing for his life. Then seemingly, out of no where, here comes a relative of Saul, named Shimei. Shimei is full of vitriolic mockery and venomous spite. He treats David like a phony counterfeit coward on the run. He accuses David of being a paranoid snake that’s slithering away from the conflict. He indicts him with a flood of hard words. He calls David a back stabber, a son of Belial. A son of Belial means he is calling David a worthless pile of refuse and a man full of demonic twists.
David’s perspective is amazing and classy. He says to his small military contingent:
“let him curse, because The LORD has said to him, Curse David.”
Then, in case we missed his attitude he says: “let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD has let him. It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.”
Requite is an old English word meaning leave the retaliation up to God. Now how hard is that? It also has the thought that if something beneficial is going to come my way, I’ll leave that in God’s hands also.
It is challenging to maintain an attitude where your view is that The Lord is screening every harsh detail that touches our lives. It is even more puzzling to imagine that even sour words that are aimed at us and rip into us painfully can actually be viewed as a God thing, or a divine encounter.
I only consider super positive events as divine encounters. But David says; The Lord has asked him to trash talk on me. Is that our estimation? When someone whacks us real good verbally how do we respond? Do we rock back on our heels and relax and say wow, God has a word for me in this negative put down?
There is a purpose for everything. Not one sparrow falls to the ground without God seeing, knowing, and yes, allowing it. Nothing is haphazard, or indiscriminate, nothing is meaningless, or pointless. We are looking into the face of God constantly in every circumstance. He purposes our heartaches. He allows our difficulties. He has a reason behind every affliction.
In all of our afflictions he is afflicted. God knows how long it will be, He knows how long it will take, and how much we need to endure. But we say: what about all the collateral damage? He knows how long it will take for us to see His face. The damage is not the issue. He has promised beauty for ashes and joy for mourning. The real question is how long will it take for us to see His face in the challenging circumstances?