David was all too familiar with derision, false accusation and slander. He had taken a good tongue lashing in his time. He had experienced first hand what it was like to be railed against by foes - both familiar and unfamiliar foes. David had been dogged by strangers and by those who were incredibly close to him - friends and family. Even his own son had sought to destroy him with words and with deeds.
Recognize just how much David owns what he is writing. Here is a brother who has been wounded repeatedly by the darts of derision. We would do well to listen to his prayer in regards to it and to heed his advice.
The singing king begins his prayer with a request that God would hear him and not forget the gracious and merciful promises of His Word. David, the servant of God, needs hope so he turns to Israel's TRUE King, the God of hope. "Remember Thy word to Thy servant, in which Thou hast made me hope." In His trying times David turns to God and pleads the promises. God has promised to be a God to him, with him, and for him. He had promised to never leave nor forsake Him. He had promised that the righteous would never be shaken. David, in his distress, is simply taking God's own Words and preparing them as a prayerful suit before the great Judge of all the earth. "This is what You have said, O God, please do what you have promised that You will."
That is a good prayer pattern for us as well. Are we using the Word of God as the compass for our requests? I'm reminded of John Newton's old hymn:
Come, my soul, thy suit prepare; Jesus loves to answer prayer;
He Himself has bid Thee pray, therefore will not say thee nay;
David did find hope in that. In verse 50 he records "this is my comfort in my affliction, that Thy word has revived me." David had, many times, been on the brink of demise but the Word of God quickened him. The law and testimonies truly were his delight and as he meditated on them day and night he found hope and comfort rising within. Is the Word of God a comfort to you in your affliction? Are you turning to it as a resurrecting force when you are "dead in sin" and "dead to duty"? The law of God brings life. Flee to the fount of vitality!
Verses 50-51 continue the train of thought. "The arrogant utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside from Thy law. I have remembered Thine ordinances from of old, O LORD, and comfort myself."
David has prayed for God to remember what He has promised. He has reminded himself of the life-giving power of the Word. Now he is being honest about the insults of his enemines but in the midst of that acknowledgement he still affirms the anchor that the Law of God is to him. His enemies may seek to destroy him. They may laugh and hiss and scorn and rage but David will not turn from the firm foundation that is laid for his faith in God's excellent Word! What about us? In the great gales of persecution, in the midst of being made a mockery, in the times when we are about to be embarrassed by our enemies are we able to say with David "the arrogant utterly deride me, yet I do not turn aside from Thy law."
Please note that David is being UTTERLY derided by the arrogant. This is no juvenile "nanny nanny boo boo" type of insult. This is serious. This is hard. These are overwhelming words that have feet to them. But David will not recant.
Matthew Henry says: "Those can bear but little for Christ that cannot bear a hard word for Him." O Lord, help us to bear a little for you knowing that you bore all for us!!
How did David keep from turning aside? He turned even more fully TOWARD that which his enemies sought to tear him from. They wanted to make him forget. He set his sites on remembering all the more! "I have remembered Thine ordinances from of old, O LORD, and comfort myself." When others would have you look away from the Law and the Testimonies that is the time to gaze all the more intensely upon it. Lock in. Load up.
Are you utterly derided this day? Know that through God's word and according to God's promise you are abundantly comforted. Turn not to to the armies of the arrogant turn to the armor of the Almighty!