Psalm 28: To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.  2 Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3 Do not drag me off with the wicked, with the workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors while evil is in their hearts.  4 Give to them according to their work and according to the evil of their deeds; give to them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward. 5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD or the work of his hands, he will tear them down and build them up no more.

6 Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. 7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

8 The LORD is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. 9 Oh, save your people and bless your heritage! Be their shepherd and carry them forever.

I have written about this Psalm before, but I often return to it for encouragement. One of the themes you see in the Psalms (and really in the entire Bible) is that the wicked are many and the righteous are few. Though not overtly stated in this Psalm, that fact is implied as the Psalmist seems to protest being classed with the mass of the wicked. He is not like them. He blesses the Lord.

One of the ploys of the wicked is to accuse the righteous of evil. Abusers love to “remind” their target that “everyone is against you. Obviously you are the problem. Just look and see how many people hate you and agree with me.” But the Psalmist insists that this is not the truth and that in fact he is in the right. When we stand for truth and speak it and live it, we are going to be hated. The wicked do not like light and exposure. All that a righteous person need do to be hated is to be. To exist and live in righteousness.

1 Jn 3:12-13 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

Notice also the bold-faced line in the Psalm. We are quite familiar with this characteristic of evil. It speaks peace but plots evil behind the scenes. It goes to church on Sunday morning wearing “peace” but all the while evil is in its heart. It greets people in Jesus’ name. It pronounces blessings on them. It prays oh so piously. But all the while, evil is in its heart. Actively. Plotting.

Lord, give to them according to their works. Grant us Your mercy. You are our strength and our shield.