How Can I Respond to False Accusations? Lessons on God’s Love Learned from a Man on the Run – Psalm 18

Person running away

False accusations have a way of wearing me down. Initially the truth stands guard on my heart, and I feel righteous and free and can put the lie away. However, sometimes a false accusation returns days, months or years later. Perhaps it is something with a small grain of truth that has been manipulated by the enemy? Maybe it is something to do with a fear I have?

False accusations can begin to feel like a dripping faucet, initially a small annoyance but eventually becoming something that distracts me or exhausts me. I feel I must defend myself. I need to set the record straight. I want to fight for what is right.

The culture around me reinforces messages of offense at every turn.

  • Don’t take that lying down
  • Tell everyone you know that the false accuser is wrong
  • Gather a group of people to support you and attack the accuser
  • Seek the revenge you are entitled to
  • Get the last word on the matter

While I have never been pursued by a murderous king, I can relate to David’s conflict with Saul. David faced so many false accusations from Saul. When a shepherd boy named David was anointed and chosen by God as the future King of Israel, it touched off a twenty-year conflict. The current king, Saul waged war and pursued David relentlessly. He began with false accusations and escalated the chase to a murderous rage.

What did David pursue in response to Saul?


Support from others?

A violent solution?

Even when David could have killed Saul, he continued to seek God, first and foremost.

On the day that David was delivered from all of His enemies (the ones Saul used against him), David wrote Psalm 18. The psalm is all about giving glory to God and never mentions Saul. In one of his first acts as the new king, David directs his new subjects to praise God. While on the run from King Saul, David had learned some hard-earned lessons about God’s character and actions.

What does David learn about God?

  1. God hears us when we call out to Him.
  2. God shows up to fight for us.
  3. God rescues us in unmistakable ways
  4. God delights in us.
1 I love you, Lord, my strength.

2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

3 I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.

5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.

6 In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

Psalm 18:1-6 NIV

  1. God hears, listens and responds (verse 6) Nothing escapes his notice, and He is willing and able to rescue. Even when we can’t see Him, He hears us and knows all about what we are struggling with.
7 The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.

8 Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.

9 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.

10 He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.

11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—the dark rain clouds of the sky.

12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.

13 The Lord thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.

Psalm 18:7-13 NIV

2. God fights for those He loves, so we don’t need to. (Verse 13). God can balance out an unfair advantage –when a king pursues a shepherd boy with vengeance and great resource. God’s supernatural battle strategies can’t be explained away or ignored.

14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy, with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

15 The valleys of the sea were exposed, and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, Lord, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.

16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.

19 He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
Psalm 18:14-19 NIV

3. God draws me out of my depth, out of my way and into his firm grasp. When he rescues me, He does so in a way that defies the idea that I did it myself. His power is demonstrated for all to see. The day of my disaster (vs. 18) transforms into a day of giving thanks for God’s great merciful rescue.

4. God delights in me and you and asks me to focus on Him not my accusers or pursuers. He will take care of them for me and you.

This twenty-year conflict with Saul prepared David for one of the greatest challenges of his life – serving as the King of God’s people. During a very difficult season, David got closer to God by placing his focus on that relationship.

Today, I will take time to turn away from focusing on those who annoy or accuse me, and I will direct my energy towards giving God praise for all He does. I will pray through the first 19 verses of Psalm 18 and ask God to show me how He is always fighting for me and making provision.

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