“Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes” (Psalm 119:23). The great biblical principle set forth in this verse is that in spite of our most trying circumstances with other people, yet what we must constantly rehearse in our minds is the truth of God’s Word. Consider the circumstances described in this verse. Rulers and authorities in the land were plotting against God’s servant. Not just common people, but people with power to take away land, livelihood, and life. People who could destroy one’s reputation and credibility that could be irrecoverable.
However, even with this dreaded knowledge, what does God’s servant choose to do? “Your servant will meditate on your statutes.” Rather than being overtaken with carnal fear and losing sleep with anxious thoughts about the future he could not see – God’s servant spent his time musing and mulling over God’s divine statutes. He did not care what men were planning and plotting against him; but rather, all his concern was wrapped up in what God wanted him to do. The statutes of the Lord are His rules, laws, and instructions. This is where God’s servant was spending his waking hours in the deepest thought and consideration. “What does God want me to do?” as opposed to “What are men plotting against me?” was the question that dominated his thoughts.
And this is where we must live as well. We must learn to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what the scoffers and slanderers are saying and plotting against us. They’re in God’s hands and under His control, therefore, they will not take a single step nor utter a single word that God has not first permitted – and that for our good (cf. Romans 8:28). Where the Lord wants our thoughts to be fixed is on His instruction for us. Whatever we do then in the face of those plotting against us must be in response to what God has commanded, and not in reaction to the sin of our enemies. In Charles Spurgeon’s (1834-1892) commentary on Psalm 119:23, consider his encouraging observation:
This was brave indeed. He was God’s servant, and therefore he attended to his Master’s business; he was God’s servant, and therefore he felt sure that his Lord would defend him. He gave no heed to his princely slanderers, he did not even allow his thoughts to be disturbed by a knowledge of their plotting in conclave. Who were these malignants that they should rob God of his servant’s attention, or deprive the Lord’s chosen of a moment’s devout communion. The rabble of princes were not worth five minutes’ thought, if those five minutes had to be taken from meditation. It is very beautiful to see two sittings: the princes sitting to reproach David, and David sitting with his God and his Bible, answering his traducers by never answering them at all. Those who feed upon the Word grow strong and peaceful, and are by God’s grace hidden from the strife of tongues.