Psalms: God's Nurture Of The Inner Man In The Life Of Faith

XLIII: A Lesson In Handling False Charges By Treacherously Unjust Enemies

(Psalm 43:1-5)


I.              Introduction

A.    Whether one views Psalm 43 as part of Psalm 42 or as a separate psalm, it has a different tone than Psalm 42 in that it addresses the need to handle false charges brought against the believer by treacherously unjust foes.

B.    The psalmist faced this challenge in Psalm 43:1-5, and he offered direction on handling it (as follows):

II.           A Lesson In Handling False Charges By Treacherously Unjust Enemies, Psalm 43:1-5.

A.    We translate Psalm 43:1-5 as follows (Kittel, Biblia Hebraica, p. 1012):

1.     "Vindicate (shaphat, Ibid.; B. D. B., A Heb.-Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 1047-1048) me, O Elohim, and legally conduct (rib, [the verb], Ibid., p. 936) my legal dispute (rib, [the noun], Ibid., p. 936-937) against an ungodly nation; bring me into security (palat, Ibid., p. 812; Piel = intensive) from the nobleman ('ish, Ibid., Kittel; R. Girdlestone, Syns. of the O. T., 1973, p. 48-50) of deceit and unrighteous deeds," v. 1.

2.     "Because You (emphat. pron.), my Elohim, are my Stronghold of Defense (ma'uzi, Ibid., p. 738-739).  Why have You rejected me?  Why must I go about mourning, in oppression (lahas, Ibid., p. 537-538) by the enemy?" (Psalm 43:2)

3.     "Send forth Your light and Your truth; let them kindly conduct me along, herd me out of trouble (nahah, Ibid., Kittel; H. A. W., Theol. Wrdbk. of the O. T., 1980, v. II, p. 568-569); let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell," Psalm 43:3.

4.     "And I will go to the altar of Elohim, to Elohim, the Gladness (sameha, Ibid., B. D. B., p. 970) of my Rejoicing (gil, Ibid., p. 162) [my Great Rejoicing], and I will praise You with the harp, O Elohim, my Elohim," Psalm 43:4.

5.     "Why are you downcast, O my life principle!  (And why) are you so disturbed within me?  Show a waiting attitude (yahal, Ibid., p. 403-404; Hiphil = causative) for Elohim because I will yet again laud him (in ritual worship meetings), O Help of my face and my Elohim!" (Psalm 43:5)

B.    We note significant observations and applications of this psalm toward edifying believers in need (as follows):

1.     The charges by the deceitful, unrighteous foe (v. 1) oppress the upright (v. 2) because they tend to confuse and mislead the upright man who is being opposed by them to where he needs God's light and truth shed on his situation (v. 3) for proper thinking and actions.  Such deception that produces even false guilt leads to depression (v. 5a).  There is thus the implied presence of the angelic conflict where Satan promotes slander by way of deception much as he did of God's character to Eve in Genesis 3:1-5; cf. Ephesians 6:12.

2.     When thus facing such foes, the believer needs to rely on God's revelation of light and truth especially as presented in His written Word (1 John 2:13b, 14b,c).

3.     The psalmist's lament that God has rejected him so that he must go about mourning due to the oppression of the enemy (v. 2b) reveals that temptations to think God is unconcerned or distanced from the believer, slanderous tendencies that misrepresent God's goodness (cf. Genesis 3:4-5) again expose the believer's vulnerability to angelic conflict and Satanic deception that must be thwarted by exposure to Scripture.

4.     Ultimately, trusting and waiting upon the Lord to act in one's deliverance (v. 5) is the focus the believer must take, revealing the need to learn to become patient under trial as is taught in James 1:2-4.


Lesson: When facing false charges by treacherously unjust enemies, the believer must (1) trust the Lord to be His Stronghold of Defense (v. 2a) and (2) to vindicate him from the false charges of even formidable foes like an influential nobleman (v. 1a,b).  (3) He must realize that he must turn to Scripture to discern false from true guilt and to discern the wiles of the Evil One who uses such foes to confuse him to his deception and harm in that the believer thinks wrongly of God and His character and thus sins in spiritual defeat.


Application: When facing charges by treacherously unjust enemies, may we (1) recall that our battle is not against just human beings, but against the Evil One in the angelic conflict that fuels such intense opposition, Ephesians 6:11-12.  (2) May we thus arm ourselves with Scripture intake to thwart this attack and to keep an upright view of God and circumstances about us for spiritual victory, 1 John 2:13b, 14b,c.  (3) We need to wait upon the Lord while facing such attacks as the Lord has a timetable involved, and He wants to develop patience for us under trial that we might mature in Him, James 1:2-4.