Character Assassination


 I love them, but they try to destroy me with accusations even as I am praying for them!

~Psalm 109:4


No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to wound their reputation.

~John Calvin

This is the last of the imprecatory Psalms and some consider it to be the most vehement. It is a Psalm of David which he wrote before becoming king. The assassin is not identified but was most likely Saul or some high-ranking officer in Saul’s regime. It was a conspiracy to discredit David. Sometimes David uses the pronoun they [referring to the group of conspirators] and some times he uses the pronouns his and him [speaking of the leader of the conspiracy]. It seems to be unclear as to whether or not David is issuing a curse on his enemies or if he is giving us the details of the curse they have pronounced on him. The translators of the NLT must have believed the later. Either way you look at it, the curse itself is pretty bad:

  • Life be cut short
  • Lose your job
  • Children be beggars
  • Home and family destroyed
  • Creditors all foreclose
  • Strangers seize your possessions
  • No one show you kindness
  • No one pity your children
  • Offspring blotted out–name disappear
  • God to show no mercy, no forgiveness
  • Curses fall back on your head
  • Curses become garments

What did Jesus say about being cursed by our enemies? He said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Lawson brings up an interesting point. He believes that David rejoiced during this period of his life {v. 30, But I will give repeated thanks to the LORD, praising him to everyone} because he understood that the more his enemies cursed him, the more God would vindicate and favor him. In other words, let them curse on because the result will be more blessings for me. I think this is a great insight and it is exactly what Jesus is teaching in the sermon on the mount. I agree with Calvin’s quote to a point [No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to wound their reputation] but I would alter it a bit by saying, “Great injury can be inflicted upon men by wounding their reputation.” I think there are greater issues at stake than our reputation. Paul said of Christ in Philippians 2:7,  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. The word translated reputation is the Greek word ke-no’-ō which means to empty. Jesus did not cling to His divine rights and privileges. Although I think it would be taking the scripture out of context, I think it safe to say that Jesus was not concerned about His reputation. Among the Jewish religious leaders, Jesus had a bad reputation because He hung out with sinners and social misfits.

I believe that many folks including a lot of preachers make far too much of their reputation. I am convinced it can become a form of idolatry. Therefore, I give little consideration to what others think. Have I been the victim of slander? You bet your I-phone. Do I sit and worry about it? NO! Dr. Lawson has some good advice that I am in complete agreement with concerning how we deal with those who attempt to do us harm by slandering our name. Believe it or not, you see all three in David’s life and in this Psalm.

  1. Prayer— When some one lies about your character, pray for them. Commit the injustice to the LORD. Let your attorney {Jesus} handle it or if you prefer, your BIG BROTHER {Jesus, Heb.2:11, NIV}. Do not personally seek to make the wrong right, you will only make matters worse.
  2. Patience— Give God time to work and remember, He does not hurry. While you wait, turn the other check. Remember, the more they curse you, the more God will bless you. What do you desire most? Their approval or God’s?
  3. Praise–Jesus said “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Note verse 30 in this Psalm, David did not allow his enemies to control his attitude. When we repay evil for evil, we play right into the enemy’s hand.

  • I intended to do three blogs from Psalm 107 and then forgot. One of them would have been Psalm 107:27, They reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits‘ end. What do we do when we get to wits end? Do we spend the night or the week? One thing, maybe the only thing I know to do is pray.
  • God is good. Another good service. June hasn’t missed a service but I think she is worn out. Bobby Anders has missed only one and Larry Bennich has not missed any other than Sunday morning. I was blessed by the presence of Elizabeth Crawford last night. She has a granddaughter and four greats who attend Mt. Zion. My good friend Norman Guthrey said he was coming tonight. We have loved every minute. The fellowship with Bro. Wayne [83] and Gloria has been precious. You talk about a testimony: Bobby Anders told me he could not be there tonight because he has to work in AWANA. Bobby is 85 and has a wonderful attitude.
  • Sarah Hooper’s brother Sidney passed away yesterday. His service is Friday in Sheffield. Sidney was an avid supporter of the DIGEST.
  • I understand Judge Moore won. I have a friend who says he crazy but I voted for him hoping he might stir some stuff up in Washington. I promise you one thing–they have never seen anyone like him. Moore is not a politician. Bad politics is what got Big Luther beat.
  • Mike Tomlin needed to get out of football and into politics. Folks, love them or hate, the NFL is a political machine and it is not Republican. They are far left, almost as far as the leftist who run the party. Come on Steeler fans, you deserve better. I wonder what Terry Bradshaw thinks about the Sunday debacle.

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