“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5 NIV).
Our civilization is losing its civility. The world is getting ruder! One of the things that’s causing that is the internet, because it allows people to hide behind the screen and say things online that they would never have the courage to say to others face-to-face.
All those people are doing is revealing the smallness of their hearts. Great people make people feel great, but small people belittle people. People who belittle others have a little knot for a heart, and they make fun of others because they think it will make them feel better.
How do you handle rude people? You don’t. You let God handle them. You let God be your defender.
King David understood this. He knew what it meant to be attacked emotionally, verbally, and physically. As a young man, he was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be the next king of Israel, but he didn’t become king right away. And that’s why Saul, the reigning king, wanted to kill him, and why David hid in caves while being distrusted, pursued, and in constant danger.
Yet David never said a bad word against the king. He never retaliated, because God was preparing him to be the king after his own heart.
David says in Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (NIV).
David was recognizing God’s goodness to him. God would anoint his head with oil, which says to the world, “This is my guy! Back off! This is going to be the next leader.” David’s cup overflowed, which meant God kept blessing him and blessing him, even when others attacked him.
Does it sound like David was stressed out? No! He didn’t have to use up all his energy defending himself because he trusted God to be his defender.
It takes a lot of faith and humility to rest and trust God when you’re under attack, when you’re misunderstood, when rumors are spreading about you and people are saying things about you online. When that happens, everything in you wants to rise up and do something about it.
But you are most like Christ when you remain silent under attack. Jesus was constantly attacked, yet he never retaliated, even on his way to the cross. He remained silent before his accusers because he had entrusted himself to the care of the Father.
“So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you” (1 Peter 4:19 NLT).
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Talk It Over
- How important is it to you to have the last word?
- What is the physical result of entrusting your defense to God? How does it affect your health?
- If you have to speak to your attackers, what do you think God wants you to say?