LINK: Psalm 12 and Psalm 36
This psalm fits perfectly with a low point in David's life. He had fled from Absalom, and Shimei came out of nowhere to malign David (2 Samuel 16)! Lips that speak lies, deceptively flatter, malign, and boast are contrasted with the words of the LORD that are flawless and pure, refined to purity like silver is refined. His words stand true above all other words. He sets us safely away from the bad words of others too!
In this psalm, God's love, faithfulness, righteousness, justice, protection, and provision are contrasted with evil men. We do not need to fear evil people because God cares for us and will continue to care for us forever!
Men were trying to destroy David's integrity (Absalom and Shimei). Both these psalms speak to a focus on God rather than people who lie and malign. It does not pay to defend ourselves. It pays to trust in the LORD. I strongly believe that God allows it to happen for our character growth.
While meditating on Psalm 12 today, I saw that I had underlined Psalm 12:5, "I will protect them from those who malign them" (NIV). (I also like the way the NASB says it, "I will set him [her] in the safety for which [s]he longs.") I had written the date 9/16/06, and the initials of three leaders who had slandered me with untruths. I have forgiven them, but it reminded me of the situation behind this.
Several months after I had removed myself from a ministry situation with a person, who lacked integrity, a woman came to my door to ask me if I had done and said certain things. I laughed because I had not. She (who knew me) said, "I thought so, and I told the person who told me that you would not do something like that." I thanked her, encouraged her to follow the chain back and have the initial accuser call me (did not happen), called one of the rumor spreaders (He saw nothing wrong with talking about me behind my back. Even if what he said had been true, I was the person he needed to speak to about it instead of telling a group of people who, in turn, told other people.), talked to the pastor in authority over them (nothing happened). Then, I claimed this verse.
I longed for safety, and God granted it (especially in the ministry situation that I am in now. I never knew it could be SO good). I firmly believed in God's protection then, moved on, and did not give it a second thought. Freedom. Growth. (I also slept like a baby through the whole ordeal, Psalm 4:8.)
Time has proven that the integrity of the initial "accuser" was very suspect anyway. Now, I am much more careful about who I choose as friends and coworkers. God used it all for good and taught me so much about Himself through the process. Win-Win!
Let's face it, people are going to malign us now and then. I want to be like David who moved on down the road and allowed the Lord to "repay him with good" and "refreshed himself" in the Lord's arms!
Pray through Psalm 36 today!