O LORD my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me.
O LORD my God, if I have done this and there is guilt on my hands- if I have done evil to him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe- then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.
Arise, O LORD, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. Let the assembled peoples gather around you. Rule over them from on high; let the LORD judge the peoples.
Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts, bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.
My shield is God Most High, who saves the upright in heart. God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day. If he does not relent, he will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He has prepared his deadly weapons; he makes ready his flaming arrows.
He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head. I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
David writes of being pursued and attacked by a man from the tribe of Benjamin who knows David only as someone King Saul, also a Benjamite, is out to get. David has done this man no wrong but is a target nonetheless, not because of what he’s done but because of who he is.
Being wrongly accused and unjustly persecuted is one of the worst feelings we encounter in life. It strikes at the very core of our self-esteem because it shows that our accuser has no sense of justice or fairness, and no regard for our rights as a fellow human being. A plot built on this theme is sure to grab our emotions in a book or movie, and in real life much hatred and violence stems from an attempt to relieve the frustration brought on by feelings of persecution.
If you’re of a majority race in a free society you probably don’t experience much of this, but when you do you quickly become indignant. You cry out like David, “If I’ve done anything to deserve this, I’ll gladly pay the penalty. Show me the evidence. If not leave me alone!”
One day soon the rules will abruptly change and those of us who’ve enjoyed the freedom to follow our faith and live in peace will suddenly find ourselves subject to intense persecution. Already in the USA we’re beginning to see that nearly every religious belief is being tolerated and even encouraged, except ours. And unless we start now to resist this trend, our way of life may soon be at risk. And one day soon the choice for Christians will be to deny the faith or die.
Over three thousand people in the world are waking to that choice today. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but the number is growing and will soon skyrocket. As the forces of evil continue to gain strength and numbers in their pursuit of world dominance, they’ll focus like a laser on people of faith as the obstacle to their objectives. Those who refuse to renounce their faith will be denied the most basic of human rights, and will be hunted like animals.
If you’re free to follow your faith, to worship publicly, pray or read your Bible in the open, take a moment right now to thank God for the privilege, and pray for the millions for whom such actions constitute a crime punishable by death. Don’t take your freedoms for granted. It’s the first step toward losing them.