“Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.”
The plea of the sinner is mercy. As the Psalmist is faced with his sin, he realizes that the one thing He needs from God is mercy. He recognized that the consequences of his sin, and knew that God must judge him for what he did. We see in verse 21 that the LORD did show mercy when he said, “Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.”
It is sad how others responded to the sin of the Psalmist. Sin always brings out the best and the worst in others. This psalm shows some of what the Psalmist endured because of the treatment of others. Verse 18 shows that others lied about what he had done. Verse 13 shows how others took what he did to slander him. Not only did others make slanderous reports about him, but they devised a plan to destroy him. These wicked people saw an opportunity to destroy, and they came out in force against him with the attempt to silence him forever. So, what does the Christian do when he has sinned, but others are lying about them and trying to destroy them?
First, acknowledge your sin. The worst thing you can do is to hide or lie about what you have done. This only gives those who want to destroy you more ammunition against you. If you want to get right with the LORD, you have to acknowledge your sin and forget what others will say because you don’t stand before them; you stand before God.
Second, don’t listen to the slander and lies. The worst thing you can do is to listen to everything that others say about you. The Devil oftentimes uses others to defeat your spirit. These people who say things about you will often be people whom you respected. Don’t let their lies and slander destroy your spirit. You know yourself better than anyone else, and if you have gotten right with the LORD, it doesn’t matter what they say.
Third, trust in the LORD’s mercy to deliver you. The Psalmist says in verses 14-15, “But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.” You cannot worry what others are trying to do to destroy you. Always remember that it is the LORD Who sets up and takes down. You must trust God and keep doing right, for it is the LORD who will be your safety when the enemy is out to destroy you.
On the other hand, be careful that you are not the Christian who is bent on destroying others. One day it will be you who stands on the bad end of an accusation. Don’t join forces with the slanderers and liars. It is not your responsibility to judge other Christians. Your responsibility is to have mercy on others and try to be the person who helps to restore them back to God. What someone did may have been wrong, but don’t try to destroy them. Remember, Satan is the one who tries to destroy, but Christ is out to restore.
People will sin; that is just part of life. If you are the one who has sinned, don’t let the evil reports destroy your spirit. If you are the one who hears about another’s sin, don’t be the agent of gossip. Be the tool God uses to restore them back to usefulness, for the Christlike spirit is in the restoration business.