‘Oh, God… I am a Sinner!’
5 “All day long they twist my words; all their schemes are for my ruin.” ~ Psalm 56:5 (NIV)
I begin today with a confession… one that every person is obligated to make, “I am a sinner.” Have you ever felt bound, held down, kept quiet, ignored, made inconsequential, pushed away, rejected, and even made fun of behind your back because you are a sinner? King David did, all the apostles did, every great leader has. I imagine King David must have said something that he didn’t write down, something like this. ‘Oh, God I am a sinner… Is my sin so great that my every word is twisted and used against me? How many more times will those with power come calling my name wanting me to give up and quit through their relentless targeting and hateful sneers? For the words they say harm me and my reputation, will my community be able to tell the difference and know I have been lied against?’
King David felt hounded for sure! His Kingship outright challenged! Not by strangers did these things come, rather it was through his own family. Jealousy is the devil’s weapon blinding a person and keeping them from doing good while bending their very nature into a twisted mess that does nothing but evil. King David knew this and was armed with the sprite of God.
Guiding Question: How many times in your life have you felt that way… felt lied against, felt your words twisted because you are a sinner?
In reflection, I can honestly say these feeling as a teacher has come to me more than once from different sources and its root was mainly from other people feeling jealous or because of a perception of me having more power than they or the perception of my earning more money than they, and maybe because they saw my good works. In any case, it never had to do with me being a sinner… because that my brothers and sisters is between God and I! For it is to these whom I speak could see how much effort I put into building relationships with people and see the response from that effort. Sadly, those people were very good at small talk but lacked the social skills to really build community and so they felt threatened. Many people in my life have twist my words in conversations and yes they did what no Christian should ever do… bear falsely against me. Why do I share this? Because many ordinary people feel like the world has closed in on them and that they are being hounded and their words twisted which deeply impacts their lives in a negative way. Regardless of whether you personally like someone or not does not give you the right to work such malice against them! I say to you who feel this way, never give up and keep your head held high, let them be evil while you continue to do God’s work! To that theme, I wanted to point out that King David wrote about his experiences in such detail that it is inspiring to read about, but he was not the only one in the Bible to have felt this way. In fact, there are many people who have felt hounded! To have felt their words twisted and evil being done against them. In each case, we draw inspiration from their experiences and know God was always with them by how the story developed and eventually ended. So again my brothers and sisters, turn away from the world’s sinful hate and gain God’s never ending inspiration through His message found within the Holy Bible and allow yourself to truly be inspired!
Gaining Inspiration through Comparing Scriptural Translations
5 5 “All day long they seek to injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil.” Psalm 56:5 (NRSVACE)
The message in this translation is more modern, a little more impactful. The hurt King David felt becomes more understandable to our advanced sensibilities. Instead of the word “twist”, it is replaced with, “seek to injure my cause”. The charge in these words are more server and cuts deeper and becomes more personal. In comparing them we can see how words have meaning, words are powerful, words, if used wrongly, can do real damage. They impacted King David as they do use all today. It is easy to drum up chaos from nothing, but it is much harder to develop and create real lasting true friendships and relationships. With that said, my community has always known the difference between the truth and the lie being told. For God walks with my community, my friends, and throughout all my relationships. Like King David, I have faith in the one true God, and money has never been my motivator nor has power. God has been my motivator throughout my teaching career and in all aspects of my life. I write this to give inspiration to those who are feeling hounded… I can relate. But you have one powerful relationship with God I wanted to remind you about. Having a real relationship/communion with God will get you through the toughest of times!
Guiding Question: Can you see God’s power working in the background of this scripture: Psalm 56:5?
5-6 “They don’t let up— they smear my reputation and huddle to plot my collapse. They gang up, sneak together through the alleys to take me by surprise, waiting for their chance to get me.” Psalms 56:5-6 (The Message Bible – MSG)
This translation is very clear… King David’s voice is really heard! “They don’t let up!” Now we can see the effect of harassment and bullying as it is seen by those who are receiving this treatment. “They just won’t stop!” These words imply a timeless – never ending cycle of hurt through the spoken and written word. I find this interesting because now we have completely moved into the modern era with this language. Now we have our enemies huddling up, plotting and active in gossip! Broken down to its finest parts King David was being harassed and gossip was being spread against him. Wow… people have not changed in over two thousand years! With this added information it is easy to see how hopeless King David must have felt. Again, this reflection is written for those who are feeling this way today… right now in 2017! Remember, God has never changed in how much he loves us, how much He will protect us, and what He will do to ease our pain. Again, despite his feelings, David’s love for God was greater and his comfort from God given in abundance. So I tell you, my brothers and sisters, we all have been plotted against, harassed, marginalized, made fun of, been the object of gossip, and even ridiculed for something, by someone. I say draw inspiration from these Bible stories, be inspired by others you know – be it me – or someone else who has told these kinds of stories. But most of all stay inspired by how God is working in the background to comfort you and lessen your pain. Remember, we are all confessed sinners… but we are also saved by the blood of Christ!
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