Vindicate me? What does that even mean?

Vindicate me, O God,
And plead my cause against an ungodly nation;
Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!
Psalms 43:1 NKJV

“Vindicate me”. I don’t use that kind of language very often. So I wanted to understand better what that meant.

The Hebrew is:

shaphat [shä·fat]
– to judge, govern, vindicate, punish
– to act as law-giver or judge or governor
– to rule, govern, judge
– to decide controversy
– to execute judgment
– discriminating
– vindicating
– condemning and punishing

Yes, God is the judge of all.

And He is the defender of His children, those who choose to follow Him, those who choose to yield to His will, those who believe Him.

His goal is not just to deliver us from the punishment. His goal is to deliver us from our old man to the new man. His goal is to reconcile us to be more like Christ. It is right now less about where you will get to spend eternity (even though that is of ultimate importance) – but it is right now about Him delivering us from the traps, the temptations,  the evil, and yes, from ourselves. 

We ask Him now,  while there is opportunity for us to live,  learn,  change,  and shine – to judge us and teach us what chains in our lives need to be cast off and what sin and death needs to be cut out and healed by His Holy Spirit. We are no longer satisfied being filled up by the things of this world, its pleasures,  its enticements, its delicacies, its intoxicating spirits – but we long for that Spirit of Truth and clarity and purpose and direction and eternal value to fill us completely.

Yes, there is a prince of this world and an enemy that surrounds us. We are familiar with those old ways that we walked ourselves. We are familiar with those demons that used to have access to our lives as they hope wrap their chains around us and hold us captive to those old ways.  But we do not have to yield to them any longer. We can choose to walk in a spirit of love, of power, and of self control through believing and following Jesus Christ our Savior and example, and we can refuse to walk in the weakness of this flesh. Because He is greater than the one that is in this world. In fact,  He must increase as we decrease.

So let’s say goodbye to that old man. Let’s cry out to the Lord and ask Him to vindicate us, to judge us,  to discipline us,  to correct us,  to guide us, and to teach us His ways – so that we can know a life delivered – not just delivered from consequences,  but delivered indeed. Not just talking about freedom from sin,  but free indeed. In deed. In our actions,  not just our words.

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