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He Was Persecuted Without a Reason

Updated on February 7, 2020
OGUNDARE OLUSEGUN profile image

As an evangelist in some places where Gospel has not reached, my team and I have been persecuted many times & University experience is bad

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Introduction

I have drawn this topic from the longest chapter in the bible which is the book of Psalms 119. This chapter is sectionalized into eight verses each by the author. The entire verses are 176, thereby making the section 22 sections.

Matthew Henry in his commentary says of this chapter of the bible that the author tends to amplify the law of God and make it more honourable, therefore, he uses about 10 different words to describe God’s law. Those words used are: Law, Way, Testimonies, Commandments, Precepts, Word, Judgement, Righteousness, Statutes, and Truth.

Persecute is defined by Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary as to treat somebody in a cruel and unfair way especially because of their race, religion and or political beliefs. Or it could be defined as deliberately annoying somebody all the time and making their life unpleasant.

The bible verse that I shall be using for this topic is the 161st verse of the 119 chapter of the book of Psalms.

SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psa 119:161)

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The Persecutors

The author of this book states in unmistaken terms who his persecutors were. “Princes” he said were his persecutors. He must have been surprised that princes could be his persecutors, because he was thinking they were those who ought to enforce the law, they were those who ought to tell people by their actions what is good for the society. However, it shocks him to note that instead of those people being succour to him, they weren’t but were essentially adding salt to his injury and everyone knows that an injured site needs no salt to be added to it if it would be healed to time.

Are we sometimes too today not amazed that instead of the leaders in the societies, nations, establishments to be helpful they are those who are fanning the ember to fire?

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The Persecution Type

The author of the book, David, does not say in clear terms the type of persecution he passed through in the hands of those princes. But it could be that he was verbally assaulted when he was fleeing from King Saul. Those people instead of understanding with him that he has been framed up, that he has been pursued without a major cause failed to reason along but were unnecessarily hostile to him making life unbearable for him and wishing for his death than being alive for fear of the king and or for other things.

In the same vein today, believers all over the world have been undergoing several persecutions. Persecutions of believers vary from region to region and country to country. The kind of persecution that the Americans would be experiencing is quite different from the kind of persecutions we are experiencing in this part of the world.

We have seen believers in this part of the world been stripped naked for confessing that they give their lives to Jesus Christ and being excommunicated nakedly from the society.

We have seen people being withdrawn from the University because of no just cause in this part of the world just because the Professor wants to prove that he owns the department, and no one could talk to him. We have seen people denied their rights by leaderships of the state because he is a Christian.

Though the persecutions differ from region to region, but it should be noticed that all were taken into consideration by the author of this book and it is that he as well as others passing through the same now have been undergoing myriads of persecution.

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Reason for the Persecution

The author after seeing the repeated action of those princes, the leaders of the society how they have been dealing with him, how they have been interacting with him, paused, bent over backwards and reflected on his life to know whether he was at fault or nay. After diligent search within his heart he discovered that he wasn’t at fault, that he has in no way broken the laws of the land, he has not covert the possessions of those leaders, he is in fact not eyeing to become a politician neither the leader of the people all he wants is being happy wanting his environment to be at peace, but even at this he discovered that he was being persecuted.

This is very true of what is happening today. Because believers do not say people should not pay tax, neither are they tax evaders, they do not aspire the position of the leaders but despite that they are being persecuted by the leaders. Think about those students withdrawn based on the instructions of a professor in their department, even if such a student would become a professor it would take a minimum of 7 or more years before that happens how could such be eyeing the position of professorship at that instance?

It shows the hearts of persecutors that their hearts are desperately wicked, and they rejoice in wickedness when doing it.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9)

As the Psalmists says that they have missed the way from the womb of their mothers, thus they do not care what happens to someone else when they started afflicting the person.

The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. (Psa. 58:3)

Estranged in Hebrew word is written as “זוּר”, Romanised form is zûr (phonetic spelling is zoor) which means turn aside, go away. Evil doers and wicked people go away from the law of God when they wanted to do evil, they will close their eyes at the word of God and ensure that it is their wills that stand on the issue.

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Aim of Persecution

The aim of persecution is to stop the person from following Christ, the aim of the persecution is to lure the person to sin. This was what happened to the disciples after healing the man at the beautiful gate in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. The leaders of the people told them that they shouldn’t talk in the name of Jesus again, but they replied him that is it right to listen to humans than to listen to God?

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.

But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Act 4:18-20)

If you are in a region where thine persecution is not more than verbal persecution, then rejoice and leap for joy for some are suffering and losing their lives, properties and siblings daily for standing for the name of Jesus Christ.

These are happening because they want them to renounce their faith in the Lord Jesus, these are happening because they do not want them to make it, they want them to be beggars and paupers in the society.

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His Disposition to the Persecution

The author continues by telling us what his disposition to the persecution was despite all they have been doing on him and his family. What are his dispositions?

SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psa 119:161)

(a) Standing on His Word

Despite all that they were doing, yet the man stands in the word of God. He was unmoved in the word of God. His motto during the crises is even though he slays me, I will yet trust him.

Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job 13:15)

He though knows that God wasn’t the slayer here, he knows that the devil has been using those princes to slay him by their words, actions, and deeds, yet he affirmed his faith in the Lord God, he keeps saying as the apostles said that nothing can separate him from the love of Christ.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Rom 8:35)

We equally need to reach this position for Christ wherever we are, stating that nothing whatsoever would separate us from Jesus love.

(b) Willingly Done

We must willingly stand by the word of God as this man stood by the word of God. Author of godtube.com says of this that, there may have been offers made unto those who are being persecuted for enlargement or melioration of condition providing they submitted to some idolatry conditions, yet they did not go back, they stand on their decision, standing in the word of God.

If we shall make appreciable progress in faith, we essentially need to willingly offer our lives to the Lord as a living sacrifice.

(c) Revere the Word

The man says, his disposition to what they were doing, how they were persecuting him changed not because his heart stands in awe of the word.

SCHIN. Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word. (Psa 119:161)

Awe in Hebrew is “פּחד”, the Romanized form is pâchad (pronounced as paw-khad') which means to be startled, to fear. He fears the Lord than what those people are doing, he fears the Lord more than their intimidation. Not that he does not know that they own the present time, he knows, but he has placed the Lord before him and thus he cannot be moved (Psa. 16:8).

Family-times.net says of this that, my utmost need is to learn new truth, but must obey the truth I already know. He has known the truth that God is greater than all, and that he must fear the person who can kill both body and soul in hell but shouldn’t fear the person who can kill the body alone.

And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mat. 10:28)

He allows the greater fear of God to drive out the lesser fear, the fear of the princes, the fear of man from his heart.

In conclusion,

The world is a perverse place where people, rulers, leaders persecute the upcoming ones, for no reason, this is commoner among the Africans (I am also an African man) perhaps than the Caucasians and Scandinavians etc. because laws relatively work there but, in our land, laws don’t work. Therefore, leaders do as they like, knowing and saying no one can catch them. This is also affecting Christians but nonetheless, from what this man passed through we are also enjoined to keep the faith, keep the faith and see Gods as greater and higher than all who shall repay all in their coins. We shouldn’t to go to their level.

© 2020 OLUSEGUN

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