• The Bald Believer

Claiming Innocence And Guilt




Psalm 69:1–6

To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim, A Psalm of David.

1 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul.

2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing:

I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me.

3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried:

Mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.

4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:

They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:

Then I restored that which I took not away.

5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness;

And my sins are not hid from thee.

6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:

Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.



In Psalm 69 we see a man who is overwhelmed. He is tired of his tears and can’t see relief on the horizon. Why? What has him overwhelmed?


For one thing, he is despised without a cause.


Psalm 69:4 They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head:
They that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty:
Then I restored that which I took not away.

He claims innocence. It appears that he may have been accused of stealing. He has not stolen anything yet he restores what has been taken.


I feel a need to pause and say that relationships are valuable. David understood this to such an extent that he was willing to make good on a perceived wrong for which he was accused and yet innocent. One might be tempted to give up on folks that question your character, to stop investing in them entirely, but this Psalmist chose to give more. Perhaps, we give up on people too soon?


Notice the next verse as David’s prayer takes an unexpected turn.


Psalm 69:5 O God, thou knowest my foolishness;
And my sins are not hid from thee.

The man who is despised wrongfully has gone from arguing his innocence to declaring guilt.


Psalm 69:6 Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake:
Let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

David does not want his misconduct to cause other believers to go astray or shame them in any way.


I read somewhere recently a statement that I found profound, “it is my sin, but our consequences.” Whoever said that understood that an individual’s sin rarely only touches the sinner. We do not live in a bubble and our actions have a ripple effect.



So, what is my point?

Why did the Psalmist declare his guilt after just claiming innocence? I believe perhaps he is helping himself look at his situation through a proper lens. I believe he is saying something like this, “I am not guilty of the wrong for which I am accused, but I guilty of other things and God knows.”


How could he give to people who accused him wrongfully?


When we remind ourselves of our need of grace we are more prone to give it.


Father,

Help me to remember where I was when you found me.

Help me to not forget the lows to which I was and am capable of descending.

I want to look at people and remember the grace that I got from you so that I will not forget to give it.

I want the gospel to remove the chip on my shoulder and replace it with love in my heart.

Amen


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