David's prayer for justice is not based upon his righteousness compared to his enemies. Instead, his request is founded upon the righteousness of God. Notice the character of those who cause David to groan and cry to his King and God: wicked, evil, boastful, evil-doers, liars, bloodthirsty, deceitful, untruthful, destructive and flatterers. The NIV translates verse ten as "Declare them guilty, O God!" David's summary statement is "They have rebelled against you."
David knows God's abundant, steadfast love. He submits himself to God, looking to Him as his refuge and protection. David fears God. He is asking God to do what He has the authority to do.
What do you think would happen if a local judge kept releasing guilty individuals? You know the people would cry out for justice. They elected the judge, giving him the authority to protect the innocent, and then expected him to follow through.
David's prayer is similar in that God is just and righteous and knows these evil doers. David is asking the One who has the authority to step in and rightly punish those who are hurting the innocent while rebelling against Him.
Judge of all the earth, You alone are right and just. Thank You that just like David we, too, can cry to You for help in our time of need. Thank You for spreading Your protection over us.
"The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; he turns it wherever he will."
We have already seen the truth of this proverb in our study of Ezra and Nehemiah when God used the kings of Babylon to return the Israelites and provide all the materials to rebuild Jerusalem. Isaiah 44:28-45:5 tells of God using another king to do His will. Verse 28 says, “Cyrus is my shepherd, and he will fulfill all my purpose.” Verse 5 says of Cyrus, "I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other."
LORD, when I am distressed by the circumstances in the world remind me of this truth. Those in positions of authority are in place because You will it. Their heart is like water in Your hand; You direct it as You will.
The last thing Paul says in verse six, "so that you may know how you ought to answer each person,” is a skill I very much desire to possess. Have you left a conversation wishing you had said something else or in a different way? I know I have. Even Paul, the consummate teacher, asks for prayer to speak appropriately with clarity.
Paul gives two criteria for our speech: we are to be gracious and seasoned with salt. As believers, we should always be grace-filled because we have come to know the grace of God exhibited to us. We studied saltiness in Mark 9:50 when Jesus tells us to have salt in ourselves. We examined the meaning of saltiness on Day 37. Click on this link to review.
"Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt" is another way of saying "speak the truth in love" found in Ephesians 4:15.
Lord Jesus, you always knew precisely the right thing to say, whether speaking to the devil, the disciples, the high priest or the blind, lame and deaf. You are Truth and Love. Therefore, You always speak the truth in love. Holy Spirit, teach us to be like our brother Jesus so we will always answer as we should, being gracious and seasoned with salt.