Psalms Chapter 35: Verses 1-14

Psalms Chapter 35 #Battle #Pray #Shield

 (Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

psalms35

Context

Longman offers the best explanation of the background for this Psalm. “The language of Psalm 35 indicates that the poem is a lament of an individual who has been falsely accused of a capital crime in the court. He calls on God to rescue him, since eyewitnesses, whose testimony is critical, lie about his involvement in the crime. He asks God to punish his detractors with the punishment they intend for him and he promises God that he will worship him as a result of his intervention” (Longman 2014, 172).

  • (A Psalm of David.) Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
  • Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
  • Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

David laments to God to be his “legal” representative against “them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.” Why did I use the term “legal” representative? The Hebrew word used in this verse calls for that interpretation. Longman stated, “The verb contend (rîb) is a legal term that can also be rendered ‘make a case against’ or ‘accuse’. The legal setting of this psalm will become increasingly obvious as we read on, but the second colon of verse 1 uses military language, and indeed military language is appropriate for court cases (ancient and modern) (Longman 2014, 172.)

David is in a Battle

The psalmist used “battle” terminology to describe his situation. “Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help. {Now he asks God to defend Him.]’ “Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” When we look back at Psalm 7:6 Arise, O Lord, in thine anger, lift up thyself because of the rage of mine enemies: and awake for me to the judgment that thou hast commanded.”

Have you ever been in a place where your person was attacked/ Who you are as an individual was attacked? Who you are as a believer was attacked? David has endured that many times. Don’t take it personally. It is not about us.

When we do things for God, we do them out of our hearts to please Him, not for any other reason. That is why I will not publicly bash anyone who is truly attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. That is why we started this ministry, no other reason. That is why David was made the king.

God knew that he would do the right thing. 2 Samuel 5:1-2 “All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord said to you, ‘You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.” This is why! No other reason.

When one becomes a leader of a ministry, it is not for us to become famous. It is not for us to be recognized. It is not for people to flock to us. It is for us to shepherd people into the kingdom. To uplift lives. To be real about who, what, and where we are, but with love.

Let Them Be Ashamed, Oh God.

  • Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
  • Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
  • Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.

“4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.” David has experienced this at least twice in his lifetime.

  1. Saul’s attempt to eradicate David when he realized that he would be king of Israel instead of Johnathan/ 1 Sam. 19:15 “And Saul sent the messengers again to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may slay him..”
    • 26:4 “David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.” Read the story of David and Jonathan’s pack. Not once did Jonathan question God’s calling on David’s life. Not once did Jonathan question David’s belief in God. Not once did he question David’s leadership. He wanted to serve under David even though -by lineage – the throne should go to him. Sometimes I wonder if we read these sections of the Bible as if they are just “nice” stories. They are not! They tell us how to establish and maintain relationships with others without being threatened by them. The second time that David’s life was in jeopardy was at Absalom’s hand.
  2. The rebellion of Absalom 2 Sam. 15:13 – 18:8.

David prays for his enemies to become “Let them be as chaff before the wind:” But he goes a step further. “let the angel of the LORD chase themLet their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.” The psalmist is asking for a full pledge spiritual warfare and battle to be waged against his enemies. Longman makes this verse even more poignant when he declares The angel of God is either one of his ministering angels or perhaps even the Lord” (p. 172). Isaiah 37:36  describes what happens the enemies of the people who serve God with a pure heart and with pure intentions. “Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they [were] all dead corpses.” Why is David praying for the destruction of his enemies?

  • For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
  • Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
  • And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
  • 10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?

He did nothing to cause them to attack him verbally or otherwise. ” For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.” So, God “Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.” Never attempt to destroy a praying man or woman who has done you no harm. God will defend them. So, understand that God is your defender. No power in the universe that can stand up against God. So, pick your battles.

Stand up for what is right. Do you remember what happened to Haman who had plans of His own?

  1. He wanted recognition.
  2. He wanted people to fawn all over Him.
  3. His life was such that he needed to be the centerpiece on the “Thanksgiving” table of life.

So, He planned to “Hang!” Mordecai and erase the Jewish people from the kingdom. Many people celebrate Purim, but they do not know the biblical significance of the story. Esther said, “If I perish, I Perish!”  Like David, Esther and the Jewish people celebrated when God gave them the victory. And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? God looks after the spiritually and emotionally poor.

False Witnesses

  • 11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
  • 12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
  • 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
  • 14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.

It is amazing how people will twist what you said to do what they want to do, isn’t it?11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 12 They rewarded me evil for good. [The end results of this behavior?] To the spoiling of my soul. [The behavior of these people whom David trusted spoiled/or desolated his soul!]

Remember folks that if this could happen to the man after God’s own heart, then it will happen to us. How we react and respond to these incidences determines what kind of Christian metal we are made of. David is experiencing betrayal. This sort of deception cuts to the very core of a person’s being.

13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. He was always there for them when they needed him. He followed the guidance of  Gen. 37:34 “And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.” That is how he grieved and mourned for them. 

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. He loved these folks unconditionally, and they turned on him. But that is what God tells us to do. He never told us to attack people even when they are hateful to us.

Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” THIS IS WHY WE DO IT.

Matthew 5:45 “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”

Someone asked why do I play this song so often. I am going to leave the answer to you.

https://youtu.be/7CobNWUXb1M

 

References

Cayce, Ken. 2017. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed August 29, 2018

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed September 15, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Advertisements

© You Are Not The Only One Ministries & Consulting Services Inc.,  All Rights Reserved.

Unless otherwise cited Written devotionals and posts on this page are the property of this ministry. You-Tube Videos are not the property of this ministry.

%d bloggers like this: