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Tested in a Tight Spot

This psalm was born out of a sad experience David had with Cush, a Benjamite (see I Sam. 24-26). Cush was one of Saul's spies. And because of what David did, Cush caused the deaths of innocent men.

Whenever David had a problem with persecution or with people, he would run to God. "O Lord my God, in You I put my trust; save me from all those who persecute me; and deliver me" (v. 1). David's enemies were pursuing him. But the first thing he did was examine his own heart. "O Lord my God, if I have done this: if there is iniquity in my hands" (v. 3). He was saying, "If I have sinned, then let the enemy persecute me."

When we are persecuted or experiencing problems, the first thing we should do is examine our own hearts--not examine the enemy or even examine God by saying, "God, why did You allow such a thing to happen?" When you find yourself in a tight spot, look in the mirror and say, "Father, is there something in my life You are talking to me about? Is there some area in my life where I am not as yielded as I ought to be?"

You may ask, "What about my enemies? Who's going to take care of them?" That was David's question. The answer is that God will take care of the enemy. The wickedness of others will come to an end. Our righteous God will accomplish His purposes, but notice the end of verse 9: "For the righteous God tests the hearts and minds." Times of trial are not only times of testimony and trusting; they are also times of testing. When God tests you, He is showing you your own heart. You may say, "I know my own heart." But you don't. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9).

God has a purpose for trials and testings. Do you find yourself in a tight spot today? Don't view this as something to endure. Rather, consider it an opportunity for growth. Use this time to examine your heart. Perhaps God wants to teach you something and develop an area of your life. Yield yourself to Him and trust Him to do a good work in you.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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