9Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.
15My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
Slander of Many
Can a more bleak picture be painted than that given to us by the psalmist in verses 9 - 13, of Psalm 31? The writer was so overcome with grief that even his bones were consumed, those that saw him ran in the opposite direction, and he was forgotten as though he were dead. But, it gets worse! He not only heard the slander of many, but in their fear, his enemies were plotting his murder.
Do you think it was time to throw in the towel? If you have ever even been close to experiencing what the psalmist declared, you know what a demoralizing and depressing state he was in. The easiest thing to do at that point is to give up, but look at Psalm 31:14-15.
But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
What a testimony! We are such creatures of this world that, unfortunately, it is often necessary for God to allow us to be swallowed up in the depths of despair so that we would turn to Him. It seems as though no lesson is more important for us to learn, and re-learn! How often do we need to come to the point in our lives when we truly understand the psalmist's words: my times are in thy hand?
What does it matter how the world views us? Why should their slander, and even their death threats alarm us? In the end, the words of verse 18 will come to pass!
Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
The wicked may seem to have the preeminence for a time, but in God's perfect timing the lying lips will, indeed, be put to silence.
As we go about the duties of this day, let us pray that God will give us the grace to ignore the slander of many, but rather to set our hearts and affections on things above and not on the things of this earth.
God Bless You,