“May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts.” Psalm 119:78 (NIV)
A lot of our difficulty in life is caused by other people. So, today’s stanza of Psalm 119 shows us the importance of focusing on God when we’ve been wronged. Up to this point the psalmist has mentioned being slandered (v23), taunted (v42), mocked (v51), and smeared with lies (v69)—all “without cause” (v78). But rather than focusing on those inflicting his pain, he looked to God, to God’s Word, and to God’s people. If that seems like a simple answer, it is.
There’s a reason the Bible repeatedly tells us to pray, read Scripture, and gather with other believers. Our focus in life determines much about who we become and the path our lives take. We tend to focus on the cause of our pain. But by readjusting our focus we learn how to respond to each situation in a godly way. Maybe that’s why the psalmist asked for understanding, not of why God was allowing him to be wronged, but of God’s commands (v73).
While it’s natural to ask, “Why?” the Lord wants us to understand who He is. Readjusting our focus reminds us that He is faithful, loving, and compassionate (vv75-77). He cares about what we’re going through. Still, part of faith is trusting that God is completely capable of dealing with those who wrong us. We’ll discuss more about that in the next devotion.
The bottom line is so simple that we learn it as kids—we cannot control what others do, we can only control our response. So let’s determine to put our hope in God’s Word (v74), to find comfort in His promises (v76), and to meditate on what they mean (v78). That way, no matter what anyone else says or does, we can go into God’s presence with a clear conscience and a blameless heart (v80).