Around the Word in 365 Days, by Linda Sommer

The Pavilion of God

Psalm 31:19-24 Nothing can wound more than the accusations of others, especially if a friend accuses you. David had this experience. What causes a critical, judgmental spirit? The root cause is pride. When we are hurt by others, it is a sign that we have pride in our hearts. When we hurt and wound others with our words, we are also guilty of pride.

The best definition I ever heard of humility is "seeing others as Christ sees them and also seeing yourself as Christ sees you." Think about it. If we walked in such humility, we would not see the negative in others because we would see them as Christ sees them. Jesus values each person the same. We all were considered worthy of His great sacrifice on the cross. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. God gave His Son for the whole world, but the whole world sadly will not receive or believe in such a great sacrifice. If we saw ourselves as Christ sees us, we would not be easily hurt because we also would see ourselves as someone who has value and worth. No matter what others think of us, we are assured of the fact that there is One who loved us enough to die for us. This thought will be a pavilion to shield us when others come against us with accusations.

David learned how to overcome when others accused him. He knew there was a safe pavilion he could run to that protected him from the strife of tongues. That safe place was the presence of the Lord where he was comforted and restored. David says, "You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues" (v. 20).

Who is the "them" referred to in such a great promise? The "them" is all those who fear the Lord and put their trust in Him rather than in men. When I read this passage, I picture myself in a beautiful white pavilion or gazebo set in a field of wild flowers beside a peaceful lake. Inside that pavilion are soft, white satin pillows that protect my ears from hearing the accuser of the brethren (Satan). All sounds of strife cease, and I can only hear the voice of the Lord. Here I recognize who my true enemy is—not people, but the principalities and powers that operate through people. Here my perspective is restored and I can do warfare against the enemy instead of justifying myself to others when I am accused. Here I find peace and rest for my soul, and here the accuser is silenced and I can respond in love to my accusers. Here I can love the Lord and am empowered to transmit that love to others.

Lord, help me to run to this pavilion whenever others accuse me.

READ: Nehemiah 1:1-3:14; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19; Psalm 31:19-24; Proverbs 21:4

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