Read Psalm 41:5-8. 5My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die, and his name perish?” 6And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. 7All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. 8They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.”
With friends like that who needs enemies?
That is the experience of David on his sick bed. Yes, it is true that David’s illness is due in part to his sin; he has readily admitted that to both God and man. But still these “frenemies” come to visit him offering no comfort at all, only condemnation. All they can see is a man getting what he deserves. No grace. No mercy. No love. Only malicious, empty words, gossip, and whispers about his presumed death.
Do you know these kind of people? Maybe you are these kind of people. Assuming the worst. Painting people in the worst possible light. Assigning blame. Imputing motives. Praying empty prayers for others that you don’t actually believe. Judging. Convicting. “She had it coming.” “He made his bed now he has to lie in it.”
Christ, on his sick bed (the cross), faced this same malice. “He saved others, he cannot save himself,” the crowd whispered, waiting for him to die. Clearly God is pouring out this deadly thing upon him. Surely he will not rise again from where he lies. We thought God loved him, but clearly he does not.
Jesus lost his good name on the cross so that we might have his good name written on our foreheads. May we never try to wipe off the name of Jesus from another’s head with our slanderous words.
To live is Christ is to trust that he is at work in every Christian, even those lying in the bed of their sin, and to use grace filled words to restore their soul.
Prayer. Jesus, you were slandered for me, how can I slander those you died to save? Amen.
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