“Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings…” (Psalm 17:8)
Have your ever been wrongly accused of something?
A circumstance arises… a bad thing happens… a situation becomes a firestorm of trouble or fear – and all fingers are pointing at you. Though you know that you did nothing wrong, you become the scapegoat for what has occurred. You are the defendant… and the judge and jury are convinced that you are to blame.
This is how David felt in today’s Psalm. He didn’t do anything wrong. He didn’t say anything worthy of blame. Yet he is the brunt of accusation and attack.
There are two options in cases like this…
Option ONE) Defend yourself. Take up your cause. Plead your case. Seek your own justification. Try to set the record straight. Attempt to get your accusers to understand the fact of your innocence.
But we all know how that turns out. It is next to impossible to convince people who are already convinced that you created the problem (or ARE the problem). Once someone has decided your guilt, the facts don’t matter. Even the truth doesn’t seem to matter. In the case of you vs. everybody else… you always lose.
Yet, in spite of the tremendous odds against us… we seem to always want to defend our cause. We take our stand. We seek to defend our integrity, our name, our choices. We know that it is a hopeless battle, yet we still want to fight it anyway.
Our name, our honor, is at stake… and we don’t want our name dragged through the mud – making us filthy (in others’ minds) forever.
Then, there is Option TWO) Refuse to plead your cause. Reject the temptation to set the record straight. Keep your mouth shut, swallow your pride, and LET GOD defend you.*
This is the really HARD option. It forces us to feel defenseless. It causes us to look guilty in the eyes of our accusers. It forces us to trust in the One Who truly knows the integrity of our heart AND the truth of the matter.
David’s encouragement is that option TWO is the option that the godly take. Those who realize that option ONE is fruitless and pointless – and who realize that our only hope is to fall upon the One Who holds us in His capable Hand.
David uses a phrase that highlights his own understanding of our relationship with the all-knowing, all-seeing God.
We are “the apple of His eye.”
A quick study of this term, in Scripture, teaches us that it is a term used to describe the fondest of feelings about something we absolutely treasure.
And we are the apple of HIS eye. This means that IF His eye is always on us, and He always knows what is happening to us, AND we are the treasure of His Heart… we can rest assured that He has our back. And… He has our front, as well.
He sees. He knows. AND He is there in the midst of our turmoil – seeking for us to step aside and allow Him to be our Vindicator.
The end result may not be that everyone sees how silly it was to blame us for something that we didn’t do – the end result is that we get an extra measure of God’s grace for our lives. God’s abiding Presence becomes more real to us (in the midst of the storm) whenever we choose to trust Him.
We learn, as David has said: “As for me, I will behold Your Face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your presence.” (17:15)
*(NOTE: This is what Jesus did when wrongly accused!)