A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Oppressed by the Wicked but Rejoicing in the Lord — Psalm 64

HCSB

God, hear my voice when I complain.
Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.
Hide me from the scheming of wicked people,
from the mob of evildoers,
who sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from concealed places at the innocent.
They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid.
They encourage each other in an evil plan;    [or They hold fast to an evil purpose, or They establish for themselves an evil purpose]
they talk about hiding traps and say,
“Who will see them?”      [or “Who will see us?” or “Who will see it?”] 
They devise crimes and say,
“We have perfected a secret plan.”
The inner man and the heart are mysterious.

But God will shoot them with arrows;
suddenly, they will be wounded.
They will be made to stumble;
their own tongues work against them.
All who see them will shake their heads.
Then everyone will fear
and will tell about God’s work,
for they will understand what He has done.

10 The righteous one rejoices in the Lord
and takes refuge in Him;
all those who are upright in heart
will offer praise.

The same psalm in the CEV

Listen to my concerns, God,
    and protect me
    from my terrible enemies.
2 Keep me safe from secret plots
    of corrupt and evil gangs.
3 Their words cut like swords,
    and their cruel remarks
    sting like sharp arrows.
4 They fearlessly ambush
    and shoot innocent people.
5 They are determined to do evil,
    and they tell themselves,
    “Let’s set traps!
    No one can see us.”
6 They make evil plans and say,
“We’ll commit a perfect crime.
    No one knows our thoughts.”
7 But God will shoot his arrows
    and quickly wound them.
8 They will be destroyed
    by their own words,
    and everyone who sees them
    will tremble with fear.
9 They will be afraid and say,
“Look at what God has done
    and keep it all in mind.”
10 May the Lord bless his people
with peace and happiness
    and let them celebrate.

and here it is in the ESV

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the throng of evildoers,
who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
thinking, “Who can see them?”
    They search out injustice,
saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.

But God shoots his arrow at them;
     they are wounded suddenly.
They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
      all who see them will wag their heads.
Then all mankind fears;
    they tell what God has brought about
     and ponder what he has done.
10 Let the righteous one rejoice in the Lord
     and take refuge in him!
 Let all the upright in heart exult!

There is much we can relate to in this psalm. The word ‘blameless’ jumped out at me in verse 4 of the ESV. If only the victim-blamers and sin-levellers would realise that God calls the oppressed blameless in this psalm!

And how perfectly this psalm describes the abusers and their allies! —  mob of evildoers, corrupt gangs, secret plotters who sharpen their tongues like swords and think they will get away with what they do.

Thank you God for Your truth.

 

8 Comments

  1. healinginhim

    Amen. Vs 1 resonates with me. My enemy(s) don’t even have to do much plotting. They just calmly carry on with their tasks knowing the vulnerable is in a weakened and co-dependant state. After finally being honest with others, I sadly now realize that the ones whom I thought cared are the ones ‘wagging their tongues’ against me; suggesting that I’m airing out ‘the dirty laundry’; that I should remain quiet about my nice abuser(s).
    So then, vs 10 is very precious: “The righteous one rejoices in the Lord and takes refuge in Him; all those who are upright in heart will offer praise.” Amen.

  2. bright sunshinin' day

    Yes, thank You God for Your truth!

    Thank you, Barb, for sharing this Psalm.

    The “But God” in verse 7 provides much comfort and reassurance that He’s on top of it all, knows the enemies schemes, and will act in His due time:

    6 They make evil plans and say,
    “We’ll commit a perfect crime.
    No one knows our thoughts.”
    7 But God will shoot his arrows
    and quickly wound them.
    8 They will be destroyed
    by their own words,
    and everyone who sees them
    will tremble with fear.
    9 They will be afraid and say,
    “Look at what God has done
    and keep it all in mind.”

    God’s promise of peace in the midst of trying circumstances where enemies are prowling around is quite amazing and reassures us that nothing escapes His watchful eye!

    10 May the Lord bless his people
    with peace and happiness
    and let them celebrate.

  3. a prodigal daughter returns

    Thank you Barb, for the reminder of the comfort, hope and hiding place victims of abuse can find in the Psalms. This portion jumped out at me.
    At the very height of my abusers pompous arrogance, when he thought
    himself invincible and mocked me and God, a blow came from the heavens that was so astonishing it took my breath away. It was custom ordered retribution that I had nothing to do with. A trap was laid by the Almighty and every area of the life of my ex was crushed in one sweeping blow. Scandal that made the front page of our newspaper with repercussions that absolutely crushed his life. He humbled himself momentarily and then went back to his arrogant abusive ways. As for me I was astonished at my Defender. The day is coming either in this life, or the next, when God will be exalted as He reduces those that abused and oppressed to ashes.
    7 But God will shoot his arrows
    and quickly wound them.
    8 They will be destroyed
    by their own words,
    and everyone who sees them
    will tremble with fear.
    9 They will be afraid and say,
    “Look at what God has done
    and keep it all in mind.”

  4. KayE

    Thank you for putting up the different translations of this beautiful psalm.”mob of evildoers”,”corrupt and evil gangs”, “throng of evil doers”.These are such good descriptions of all the churches that support abusers.

  5. Not Too Late

    May the Lord bless his people
    with peace and happiness
    and let them celebrate.

    LET THEM CELEBRATE! Woohoo! That’s what I like to hear!!!

  6. Anonymous

    I realize more and more how recovery from abuse is not a once and done event; it’s really an ongoing process that takes deep, deep healing, facing reality and moving on – no easy task. God heard the cries of my heart as I fell to the bathroom floor completely exhausted, broken-down, crushed in spirit, nearly hopeless and not caring if I lived or died. And He rescued me from my abuser almost immediately. During my healing process I have good days and bad days. I have learned from painful experience that to constantly replay the tapes over in my mind keeps me stuck in the pit. I have continued therapy to first understand why I am doing this and then how to stop. For me it is still unbelievable to see the cold and cruel treatment and lack of empathy from my abuser. It’s as if ice water runs through his veins and not blood. If I do not daily flee to God for comfort, counsel, wisdom, purpose and love, to this very day I would crumble as a result of the horrific abuse I “endured.” And so to be directed to the Psalms such as Psalm 64 and so many others, is to feel the embrace of a warm blanket while sitting beside a crackling fireplace in the knowledge that HE sees and knows ALL things. And I can surrender completely in HIS loving arms fully assured the battle is His. He tells us this in 2 Chronicles:

    “…Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

    Not only does our Lord make this promise, He therefore claims ownership of the battle. How marvelous!!

  7. Still Reforming

    Thank you, Barbara, for sharing God’s Truth. It is soaked up like water in a parched, cracked land.

  8. anonymous

    So grateful to ACFJ !!

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