“Redeem me from the oppression of men, that I may obey Your precepts.” -Psalm 119:134
The psalmist is harassed by those who despise truth. They hate him for living by the truth as it exposes their own unrighteousness. Those who do not fear God attempt to silence, mock or harm saints who reverence the Lord. This should not cause the believer to despair but rather affirm he is on the right side. Worldliness makes holiness a disease and normalizes sin (Romans 1:18-32). But Christians have Jehovah Maginnenu, the LORD our Defense. “The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know Your Name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9-10). Believers can entrust our circumstances no matter how dire, in the Lord’s Sovereign and Loving Hands. If we know He runs the show, and He also loves you, then what other excuse do you have not to trust Him?
If God allowed His only Son to endure cruel rejection and even death, we should expect persecution as well (John 15:18-25). Likewise, we have our older Brother to show us how to respond to the oppression of men. The night Jesus was betrayed, the Bible says He did not retaliate, although He could have sent an army of angels to His side in an instant. Instead, our Lord Jesus entrusted Himself to the Father who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). This is why the psalmist petitions for God to help him not sin against his enemies, but redeem him- keep him from taking the bait and falling into the pit his enemies wallow in. The psalmist desires obedience to the Lord over personal revenge. Let his example be an encouragement to us.
Grace upon grace,
Growing deeper: Isaiah 53; Psalm 9; Romans 12:17-21