The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
The intent of the wicked is to harm. Out of anger they may try to ruin another’s reputation, perhaps to coax the other to anger and sin. That is what Jesus’ enemies tried to do with their questions and slander. The wicked use words to draw blood. Sometimes, though, the wicked are acting merely out of their own desire for advancement. You happen to be a competitor for promotion, to get a sale, to earn the academic award, to buy the house. The wicked will lie, cheat, do whatever to get the advantage, not concerned about the blood that is drawn from you.
How, then, do you respond? Play by the same rules so that you are on the same playing field? Use the eye-for-an-eye principle? The best course of action is to speak and act righteously; not self-righteously with arrogance, but in biblical righteousness in which you speak and act in the spirit of Christ. You are called of God to live as a citizen of his kingdom, following the standard Jesus lay forth in his teachings and lived out for us as an example. Your true words spoken in love and in integrity will time and again deliver you.
But more to the point is that God hears the prayers of the upright who cry out to him. He is your deliverer. Put your trust in him to meet your daily needs and protect you. His guarantee is that he will always do what is good for you and allows you to glorify him. The mouth of the upright delivers them for they put their confidence, not in man, but in God.
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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By D. Marion Clark. © 2023 Tenth Presbyterian Church. Website: tenth.org