To you, LORD, I call;
you are my Rock,
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to you for help,
as I lift up my hands
toward your Most Holy Place.
Do not drag me away with the wicked,
with those who do evil,
who speak cordially with their neighbors
but harbor malice in their hearts.
Repay them for their deeds
and for their evil work;
repay them for what their hands have done
and bring back on them what they deserve.
Because they have no regard for the deeds of the LORD
and what his hands have done,
he will tear them down
and never build them up again.
Praise be to the LORD,
for he has heard my cry for mercy.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
and with my song I praise him.
The LORD is the strength of his people,
a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
Save your people and bless your inheritance;
be their shepherd and carry them forever.
When we think about the evil that people do, what usually comes to mind is theft, violence, war, and such things. In this psalm, David says that those who speak cordially with their neighbors while they harbor malice in their hearts are evil. Then, in typical David fashion, he asks God to unleash havoc upon them, but never mind that. Let's reflect on something more personal. How many of us would fit into this category, typically called backstabbers?
Scripture has much to say about the harm caused by such people and the importance of avoiding their ways. Here are some verses that address the issue of backstabbing.
Proverbs 25:9-10 warns against betraying the trust of others, which can lead to shame and harm. It says: If you take your neighbor to court, do not betray another's confidence, or the one who hears it may shame you and the charge against you will stand."
Proverbs 26:24-26 speaks of the danger of those who speak kindly but have deceit in their hearts. It emphasizes the importance of discernment and not trusting those known to be deceitful. It says: “Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts."
Psalm 41:9 speaks of the pain of betrayal by someone who was once a close friend. It says: “Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me." This is something that Jesus could undoubtedly attest to.
He offers the best antidote to backstabbing. "So in everything," he says, "do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12)
Enough said. God bless you.