Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from the Psalms Bible study under the same title at Truthtellers.org.
Psalm 7:4-5 is one of the most ethically and spiritually provocative passages in Scripture:
If I have done evil to him who is at peace with me or without cause have robbed my foe – then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground; and make me sleep in the dust. (NIV)
Why is David so concerned that no charge of petty outlawry in peacetime be leveled against him by his wicked Philistine enemies? He was very aware that, by pilfering his enemies’ cattle, sheep and lands, he might rob them of the opportunity of seeing in him a righteous representative of God’s fair play. This was the equity and justice that caused such Gentiles as Ruth the Moabitess, Uriah the Hittite (husband of Bathsheba) and Hiram, king of Tyre, to admire and desire to cleave to the God of Israel. This verse thus imparts a primarily spiritual meaning to what robbery of the Gentiles meant to David and why he was determined at all cost to avoid it.
It warns that those who represent God in every age have the sacred duty not to deprive any human being, even their worst enemies, of fair and truthful example. Such example, even in contention, is vital because God's fairness toward His worst enemies is perfect, even as He pronounces damnation upon them.
Tragically, ideological war in Palestine has meant that for more than a century modern Israel and the Zionist-controlled media in the west have robbed the Palestinians of fair representation – a robbery that continues in the present siege of Gaza.
It also means pro-Israeli evangelical Christians, even after being warned they are parroting Zionist lies, continue to go along with such robbery of the Arab right to fair treatment. Thus, both Zionist evangelicals and Jews further prejudice the Muslim world against Christianity.
Both Israel and pro-Israel evangelicals are doing exactly what David said he would never do: rob one’s adversary of the dignity and opportunity of fair and open representation. Biblical ethics teach we are not allowed to do battle with evil by censoring or distorting our opponents’ views which should be presented for what they are. But, for more than a century, the Zionists and their evangelical lackeys have warped perception of everything Arab through lies and cultural character assassination.
Zionist Jews and evangelicals also rob anti-Zionist Christians of the same fair treatment. When informed of the truth with evidence that cannot be argued against, both groups smear the truthteller as an anti-Semite. A fair hearing should be the minimum due between one Christian and another in times of controversy.
In fact, the state of Israel and its intelligence-gathering secret service Mossad have from Israel’s beginning been dedicated to doing exactly the opposite of what David said he would never do: robbing his enemies of fair play. The very motto of Mossad, “By way of deception,” implies deprivation of fair and open ethics toward Israel’s opponents. Thus, more than perhaps any nation, Israel is open to robbing and deceiving nations at peace with her. This is documented by the staggering amount of spying Israel carries on against its chief benefactor, the U.S., all the while denying such spying. In contrast to the testimony of fair play David so jealously guarded, Israel maintains a testimony of twistedness and treachery toward the Muslim world which has effectively caused the Mideast to continuously bleed.
Yet, as the truth of the brutality of Israel’s massive bombardment and invasion is now percolating out to most western governments, Israel’s ability to rob the Palestinians of Gaza of fair play received a powerful setback last week. Except for the US, no UN member nation protested the UN Human Rights Council’s resolution condemning “in the strongest terms the widespread, systematic and gross violation of international human rights and fundamental freedom arising from the Israeli military operations” in Gaza.
But the robbery of which David warns against one’s adversaries has larger connotations than the Israeli/Palestinian dispute. When people are joined together against a common adversary, there is a very strong tendency to let misrepresentations or even outright lies against their opponents pass, robbing their adversaries of fair play.
The rationalization is “all’s fair in love and war” –“whatever it takes to win.” That’s not right. In this Psalm David is saying in essence that if we as a Christian are in the heat of controversy and a lie or gross distortion is uttered, and we say in the secrecy of our heart, “That works to my advantage. I will not protest,” we have bid godspeed to a lie. Unless we repent before God and do our best to confess and correct our false witness before those we have influenced, we stand condemned. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16)
Of course, many lies are uttered by others, especially liberal teachers and false religious leaders every day, and there are huge constraints on how many lies we can correct. What I am saying is not binding on members of audiences who cannot, in practical terms, interrupt and correct falsehoods uttered onstage. But when we hear a lie or malicious or slanderous accusation expressed, robbing our opponent of God’s fair play and it is well within our power to correct it we are not to let such falsehood pass. We must stop discussion right there and see that amends are made or stand guilty before God for being a party to bearing false witness.
Often when people hear a friend utter a malicious falsehood or exaggeration, they remain silent out of loyalty. They fear losing friendship. But protecting liars from rebuke is not loyalty. As David teaches us, it is robbing them of the moral direction and godly compass they clearly do not possess in themselves. By leaving their false witness unaddressed, we fail them, we fail ourselves, we fail the person they maligned, and we fail God whose values we really don’t exemplify.
I continue to be amazed at David. Here is a warrior king of the 11th century B.C. who by necessity was preoccupied for much of his life with the shedding of blood of the particularly aggressive Philistines, fanatical in their determination to make Israel an extension of Baal worship. And yet his conscience is so tender throughout that he calls down upon himself terrible curses should he deal, even with his sworn Philistine enemies, in a manner unbecoming to the exalted ethics and reputation of the God of Israel. It is indeed a sad commentary that the ethical standards of both Jewish Zionists and Zionist evangelicals, more than 3000 years later, far from improving upon the values of an 11th century B.C. Hebrew monarch, have instead plummeted abysmally.
I really fear that Zionist evangelicals, parasitized and morally gnawed out by Pharisaic/Zionist hit-and-hit back ethics, will eventually retain only one directive from the Old Testament: God’s command to Joshua and the invading Hebrew armies of 1400 B.C. to drive out and destroy all resisting non-Hebrew inhabitants of Palestine. When that is carried out by the Israelis to the cheers of the Zionist evangelicals, it will be the ultimate robbery of any possibility of ever bringing Christian truth to the Muslim world.
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