Prayer for the day
Show us your mercy, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.
Scripture for the day
Sometimes it doesn’t seem to matter whether we’re guilty or not. Sometimes people want to do us harm and have decided beforehand that what they want is more important than justice, than the law, or even than civility.
The religious leaders of Paul’s day were upset with what he was teaching, and though they could find no law that he was truly breaking, they did everything within their power to ensure that his life was dogged. He was unable to preach publicly in some instances, unable to move freely about, unable to go where he believed he was supposed to go because these people had some kind of religious vendetta against him. Paul had once been one of these, and that he was no longer, and in fact, was preaching against what they were preaching in a way, his treachery in their eyes was all the worse. And so they sought to imprison him, and eventually kill him, in order to silence his witness.
The Psalmist, David, encountered similar persecution. It’s not easy being a king, particularly when everyone wants your throne. David learned this the hard way throughout most of his life. Early on, he was seen as the usurper even though he made no move to take the throne. Saul relentlessly pursued him without cause or justice. Later, his sons and other military leaders sought his downfall so that they could have his power and authority.
Throughout the life of David the king and Paul the apostle, people who disagreed with them, people who wanted them to suffer, and people who wanted their power would constantly conspire against them, lie about them, and bring trumped up charges against them. Throughout their lives, both would continue to rely on God as the ultimate judge and bringer of salvation.
May we stand the same way when we are faced with trials, just or not.