Psalms 35:1

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:1-3, “Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.[2] Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.[3] Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” This is a Psalm about the believer’s attitude toward his enemies. It is important to understand because we will have enemies if we walk with Christ. We want to please God and have an attitude that honors Him and His purpose for our hearts. Do not rely upon your own responses to the attacks of the unbelievers. That is key. Look to the Lord to take care of you, and to make any response that needs to be made. We need God’s way and God’s timing. The Lord knows things that we do not know. And the Lord is powerful. We turn to Him because He knows best and because He can do things that we cannot do. Verse two mentions defensive weapons: shield and buckler. You do not even need to defend yourself. Let God defend you. Verse three mentions an offensive weapon: a spear. Do not strike out against your enemies. Let the Lord do that, if He thinks it needs to be done. This is the age of grace. Jesus is in the business of saving people and forgiving people. He will punish in the cases where He decides. But it is His choice, and not yours. Notice David’s request at the end of verse three: “say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” We simply need to remember who we are. We are God’s children. We are heirs of the King. Jesus will take care of us. Everything will be ok. Concentrate on the Lord and the salvation that Jesus has given to you. What people do is not that important compared to what Jesus has done and will do for you.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:4-8, “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.[5] Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.[6] Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them. [7] For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.[8] Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.” Many unbelievers do not mind injustice as long as they get what they want. But a believer does long for justice and truth to prevail. That is because when we joined ourselves to Jesus, we turned to follow Him that is just and truthful. The judgments listed in this chapter will happen to the unbelievers eventually: if not in this world, then at the judgment. God loves His children, so woe be to those who hate or harm the people of God. When believers look up to heaven and say, “Even so, come Lord Jesus,” we are not just expressing our desire to see our Savior and to be with Him, but we are also expressing our desire to finally see justice prevail over the wickedness of the earth.   

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:9, “And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.” This shall be the result for all believers once the final judgment does come. Goodness shall win over evil, and truth shall win over lies and deceit. That is part of the great salvation that we have in Christ. We will enjoy the final victory that Jesus will bring over evil, and sin, and unbelief.  

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:10, “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?” The unbelievers have more power, more influence, and more money in this world than believers will ever have. How are we going to compete? What resource do we have? We have the Almighty God.  

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:11-12, “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.” Two of the things that believers can suffer from unbelievers are given here. The first is lying. Unbelievers will accuse you because they feel accused by your godly life. Unbelievers will accuse you because they often have no moral foundation, and they might be willing to do anything to get what they want: including lying about you. Secondly, unbelievers will reward evil for good. When someone rejects Christ, they also reject the goodness of Christ. They are in effect turning away from good and turning towards evil. And then they end up hating what is good. Therefore, they will hate you when you do good.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:13-16, “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.[15] But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:[16] With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.” David prayed for the unbelievers. David was sad when he heard of their misfortune. David cared about them. That was the love of God spread abroad in his heart. The most compassionate people in the world are Christians who walk close to Jesus. But when we spread the gospel, we do not always get the results that we hoped for. People do have their own free will, and some people chose to reject Christ and to do evil. Part of their evil ways is to persecute Christians.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:17, “Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.” Notice David’s question: “how long?” Sometimes when we suffer, we ask the same question because an answer does not come as quickly as we had hoped. There are a couple of reasons for this. One reason is that part of following Jesus is to experience the trial of our faith. How much faith would it take if we were always immediately rescued? We must learn to have patient endurance. The rescue will come, but it will come in God’s time. That is the second reason why we ask, “how long.” We are dependent upon God’s timing. He is in charge and we are not.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:18, “I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.” In the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s way, He will deliver us from whatever or whoever is afflicting us. Some people endure a cross for years with faith in Jesus until deliverance comes. And sometimes the deliverance comes when we go to be with Him forever. Jesus is called “Savior” for a reason. And then when we realize how much the Lord has done for us and will yet do for us, we will be able to give thanks and to praise God. Notice that David says that he will give thanks “in the great congregation” and that he will praise God “among much people.” When you gather with other Christians in a “congregation,” it gives you an opportunity to tell others what the Lord has done for you. By doing so, you will honor and glorify God, and you will build up and encourage and teach other believers. Your testimony will help to strengthen their faith.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:19-21, “Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.[20] For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.[21] Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.” These verses show how wicked unbelievers can be. They are motivated by mean-spirited competition. They deceive. They hate. They look for reasons to condemn. They interpret things that you do in the most negative way possible. What hope do innocent an honest people have against such people? Our hope is the Lord.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:22, “This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.” Thankfully, the Lord sees and knows all things. He knows what the wicked have done, and the all-powerful Lord can do something about it. All that God has to do is speak. “Say the word only, Lord Jesus, and it shall happen.” One of the many blessings of being a born-again Christian is that the Lord is always with us.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:23-26, “Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.[24] Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.[25] Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.[26] Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.” If you are attacked and accused, then you need someone on your side to defend you and to plead your cause. That is what David is asking for in verses 23, 24, and 25; and that is exactly what Jesus does for His followers. What the evil people desire is not what is going to happen. What God allows and what God chooses, is what is going to happen. And so we want to trust in the Lord each day, and we want to rely upon Him, and then whatever happens, we want to make sure that we believe that His hand allowed it and we want to make sure that we thank Him for what He has done. The things that David prayed would happen to the ungodly will happen to them eventually. It is their destiny unless they repent and turn to Jesus: shame and confusion and dishonor.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:27, “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause; yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Notice the words “joy,” “glad,” and “pleasure.” Who does the Holy Spirit indicate will have these things? Because there are so many who hate Christians, those who favor the “righteous cause” of believers such as King David will have the good things mentioned in verse twenty-seven. God likes it when people treat His children well. Find out if someone is a believer in Jesus or not. If they are a true believer, make sure you treat them really well. Jesus said in Matthew 18:6, “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Jesus also said in Mark 9:41, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”  

 

The Bible says in Psalms 35:28, “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” We cannot control what other people do, but we are responsible for our own actions and our own words. People might do evil deeds, but God does not. We can always praise the righteous deeds of God. God does good things every day. It is simply up to us to look for them and be thankful for them. Jesus is our Savior. He will come again and right all wrongs. Jesus is involved in every detail of our lives. We will live in heaven with Him forever.

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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