Vindication

Have you ever longed to be vindicated after an unprovoked attack? Having someone come alongside of you and take up your cause can be life-giving. In contrast, standing alone against oppression can absolutely flatten your soul. To hear someone articulate your defense is what everyone desires in such moments. If you have ever defended a friend against an attacker, you are a blessing. Friends don’t let friends stand alone.

Our Psalmist today is in that exact spot. He is alone in his situation and looks to God for vindication. What better friend could we have than the Lord to stand with us?

Psalm 43 (New Revised Standard Version)

Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
    against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
    deliver me!
For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
    why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
    because of the oppression of the enemy?

In God’s timing, the vindication is not immediately given. We don’t know why. Perhaps the Psalmist needed to learn how to defend himself. Perhaps God was teaching him something. Certainly patience and trust in the waiting times are things we learn when we cry out to God and have to wait for an answer.

That is exactly where our Psalmist lands. He knows what to do, where to go, and who will deliver him as he waits and asks for help.

O send out your light and your truth;
    let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
    and to your dwelling.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
    to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
    O God, my God.

This statement of loving trust is beautiful. He calls out for God to send light and truth. He asks to be led up the holy hill where he will worship at God’s altar with exceeding joy. Already he is anticipating that vindication is coming.

Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my help and my God.

He remembers God’s help and reassures himself that he doesn’t need to be cast down. Hope returns, and he is comforted.

Do you know what to do, where to go, and who to wait for when you are feeling beat down? Do you trust God to hear when you cry out for deliverance? Do you anticipate his coming, even in the waiting?

God is your refuge and strength. Keep seeking his light and his truth. When the time is right, he will defend your cause and deliver you from deceit and unjust treatment. So go to the altar and wait. Praise God with joy and wait. Lift up your head and wait.

Hope in God! He is your help and salvation, and he’s on his way.

Hope Dawns by Paul J. Clifford

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