Psalm 35 – Day 1

Turning To God.

“O LORD, you know all about this. Do not stay silent. Do not abandon me now, O Lord. Wake up! Rise to my defense! Take up my case, my God and my Lord. Psalm 35:22-23 NLT

This is a difficult Psalm. It is one of four imprecatory Psalms in which the writer asks God to pour out judgment on his enemies. The words are harsh and come across as vindictive. They don’t seem to fit in with the New Testament concept of loving our enemies and turning the other cheek. David is calling down curses from God on those who oppose him. He asks God to destroy them. So what are we supposed to do with this information? Are we to use this Psalm as a pattern for our own prayer lives? Does the content of this Psalm provide us with a pattern for how to respond to those who oppose us or try to do us harm? I think the answer is no.

The real lesson of this Psalm is that life is difficult. Even David, the king of Israel and the man who was known as a man after God’s own heart, found himself facing difficult situations. He was falsely accused, unjustly attacked, and under constant threat of betrayal from both within and without. We must always remember that David was writing as the king of Israel. He was the anointed, God-appointed leader of the nation and was responsible for opposing all those who stood against God and His people. David’s job as king was to defeat the enemies of Israel and defend the people of God. As the king, he represented God and was the target for attack by all those who refused to acknowledge Yahweh as the one true God. David is obviously frustrated and fearful. He is tired of the constant attacks on his leadership and his person. He is weary of all the false accusations and clandestine attempts to dethrone and defeat him. He is frustrated by the ill treatment he receives from those whom he has shown mercy and grace. In his frustration, David calls out to God to turn the tables and give these individuals a taste of their own medicine.

The real key to understanding this Psalm is NOT based on what David asks to be done, but on who he asks to do it. David is the king. He could have taken matters into his own hands and given these people just what he prescribes in this Psalm. He was a warrior and had a strong army at his disposal. He was the ultimate judge in the land and could have enacted judgment and meted out justice as he saw fit. David could have taken matters into his own hands and solved all these problems in his own way. But instead he called out to God. He appealed to the ultimate judge of all men and asked Him to act as his advocate and protector. These Psalms are brutally honest and paint a very clear picture of the pain and frustration that David felt. They are an accurate glimpse into the life of this man who tried to love and serve God all his life. He shares his heart with God, honestly opening up about his feelings. He holds nothing back. But in the end, David places all of this in the hands of God. He knows the solution to his problems are going to come from one source only: God. He knows victory comes from God. He knows rescue comes from God. He knows justice comes from God. And he knows that God knows everything that is going on in his life. So he asks God to come to his defense, to take up his case and declare him innocent. David is willing to wait on God. Yes, he struggles with what appears to be God’s apparent delay in answering, but he waits nonetheless. He gives God his cares and concerns and trusts Him to do what is right. Why? Because he knew that “Great is the Lord, who delights in blessing his servant with peace? (Psalm 35:27 NLT).

Father, life can be hard. People can be difficult. Sometimes I am tempted to take matters into my own hands in an attempt to solve my problems. But help me to turn to You instead. You are my advocate, protector, and rescuer. You know what is best and You always do what is right. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men
kenm@christchapelbc.org

One thought on “Psalm 35 – Day 1

  1. It is always difficult to wait. We (men) usually take instant actions. the old saying count to 10 or “wait” in not in many men’s minds. I to have been to anxious to hurt someone because of the hurt that they caused. This, happens almost daily (I think in ministry you become a target). I have tried to “wait” and when done so..I have seen God’s hand move better that what I wanted to do. there is hurt and also forgiveness. there is the past, what is done it done..the present, how we act and respond,,,the future, It will be here soon enough, yes but look forward to it.

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