It was shocking and very disconcerting news. One of the churches that I had worked with in Tanzania had been burned and four Christians from the church had been arrested. No, the Christians didn’t burn the church, a mob of Muslims did. The Christians’ “crime” was leading a woman to Christ who practiced a mixture of Islam and witchcraft. Although the country has freedom of religion, these believers were arrested.
The mob grew and these believers were endangered. Initially the courts postponed their hearings for their own safety as the mob converged on the courthouse. They were safer in jail. Imagine if that were you. Imagine if there was a mob outside your jail wanting nothing but your death. What would you do?
These believers could relate to David. David begins Psalm 59 focused on his immediate problem, Saul’s men who were watching his house and waiting to kill him. By verse 5, however, he moves past his problems and looks at the bigger picture of “all the nations” or “all the heathen,” as the King James translates it. These were all those people outside of God, both non-Hebrew people and Hebrews who had rejected God.
It wasn’t that David’s pursuers were against him, they were against God. Those who oppose the Lord and His righteousness naturally will oppose the servants of the Lord who seek to walk in righteousness.
This is a good lesson for all of us when we face opposition because of our walk with Christ. We tend to take things personal but need to understand that sinners do what they do because they are sinners. Those who reject God’s love and plan are going to reject and oppose those who manifest God’s love.
This perspective, however, did not change David’s position. He was still surrounded by the enemy! So what did he do? He ran into his “fortress” (vv 9, 16, 17) and placed his complete faith in the Lord to rescue him. He turned to God’s strength (v16) acknowledging that he could not solve the situation by himself. He focused on worshipping the Lord rather than worrying (vv16, 17).
That brings us back to our friends in Tanzania. What did they do? Well, in jail they prayed, sang and witnessed to the guards and other prisoners. The result was several people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through their witness. They ran into The Fortress and focused on worshipping the Lord.
A great example to all of us!
Frank Banfill is an international speaker, leadership developer, and president of MaxPoint Ministries (www.maxpoint.org) which seeks to help individuals and ministries realize their full potential in Christ. Please forward this to your family & friends. To get Frank’s devotionals delivered free to your inbox, or to request reprint rights, visit www.FranksBibleBlog.com.