Thursday 10th September
Although at times I don’t feel it I can’t deny it, I am a person of mature years. However, it is only within the last 15-20 years that I could wear a poppy without feeling terribly conspicuous or vaguely under threat of some kind. Not I might add due to any political divide within our community. No, it goes much further back into childhood and the experience of being falsely accused of breaking a window. Out of a crowd of maybe 20 youngsters throwing clods I was the one identified as the offender even though at the moment it happened my hands clean. The thing by which I was identified as the offender, the poppy I was wearing.
It is more than an unpleasant thing to be wrongly accused, it is not something easily shaken off. Sometimes it is impossible to establish your innocence especially when there is someone who claims to have been a witness to events. It can bring many weeks or years of anguish, trouble for families and as we’ve seen in the case of those wrongfully convicted, years of life lost. Such was the experience of David.
19 Do not let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause; do not let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably, but devise false accusations against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They sneer at me and say, ‘Aha! Aha! With our own eyes we have seen it.’ 22 Lord, you have seen this; do not be silent. Do not be far from me, Lord. 23 Awake, and rise to my defence! Contend for me, my God and Lord. 24 Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. 25 Do not let them think, ‘Aha, just what we wanted!’ or say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’
The verses I find particularly relevant here are verses 21 and 22 the charges of those who are apparently eye witnesses to the things David was accused of, those who said “Aha! Aha! We saw it with our own eyes” It was a lie! David knew it but perhaps no others except one, God himself and his appeal is to God “Lord you have seen this; do not be silent.” God is not only the righteous judge, but the witness of every action good and bad in our lives.
When Satan accuses us of being unfaithful, unbelieving, untruthful and all round sinners he is not accusing falsely and that is a terrifying thought with which he can and will pursue the people of God. What dispels the gloom is the reality that our sin has been atoned for; the penalty paid by Jesus himself and now there is no charge to answer as far as his people are concerned. God himself is a witness not only to our sin, but to our salvation. That truth is perfectly expressed in a classic hymn of faith “Before the throne of God above.” And in the words “When Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt within upward I look and see him there who made an end to all my sin. “ Hallelujah, what a Saviour!
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