Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 35
psalms 35GOD WILL JUDGE HIS ENEMIES
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. 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. 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. 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? Psalms 35:1-10
This Psalm covers many varied subjects. We find in Verses 4-6 the Judge pronouncing sentence upon the enemies of God and His people. This sentence is not given in a revengeful spirit, but in the quest for justice. Justice calls for sever judgment for those that set themselves against God.
We find Jesus speaking of His enemies in John 11:25:
But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. John 15:25
False witnesses rose up against Christ to reward His whole life with pain, suffering, and death. But there was nothing in the life, death, or character of Christ that would call for vengeance. The New Testament teachings of Christ are quite different from the practice of the Old Testament Jews. The Old Testament Jews were taught by a more stern philosophy. They were steeled by a more strict discipline and were committed to eliminating the wicked idolaters in whatever way necessary. The Law without the grace of Christ will always call for absolute justice. We are not to call for the destruction of individual people, but we are to realize that all those that reject Christ will be destroyed. Jesus made this plain in two verses:
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:3
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:5
David saw his enemies as the enemies of God. Today the enemies that we face are the enemies of God, Christ, and the Church. The zeal we have for God and His House ought to make us call for evil to be rooted out. While our prayer should be ďFather forgive them,Ē their rejection of God will bring sure destruction. Letís not allow the grace of God and our love for the souls of sinners to hide the fact that there is a real judgment ahead for every Christ rejecting soul.
A careful study of the life of David will reveal that there was no revenge in his spirit. He would not lift a finger to harm Saul. His words here are the result of his holy indignation against evil and evil-doers. His words were against principles more than individual persons.
In these verses we find five references to Jehovah: Adonai, the Rightful Governor is referred to three times Elohim, the everlasting Almighty, is referred to twice
These references speak of the mercy and judgment of God. There is no salvation without both of these truths. The modern salvation message is not effective today because it has been diluted to the point that all judgment is removed. Many donít know what they need to be saved from. There is no salvation for the soul that does not see its danger. The person that does not seek an Advocate against the judgment of a Holy God will not know His salvation. He must see the powerful weapons of Godís judgment before we can see the powerful mercy of His salvation. There is nothing as comforting to the believer as the assurance to the God of ultimate judgment is also the God of ultimate protection. We rejoice in the fact that we are identified with Him and His cause is our cause. We must leave the punishment of the wicked to Him and thank God, we can leave the salvation of the righteous to Him also
GRATITUDE AND PRAISE
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. 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? Psalms 35:9-10
Revenge nor the destruction of the wicked will bring joy to the righteous. Our joy comes from the salvation of the Lord. We rejoice in the fact that the same hand that defeats the enemy will deliver the oppressed. The judgment of God will surely come to those who take the possessions and the lives of the innocent, those who profit from the misery of others, those with a cold and hard heart toward good, and those who seek glory and honor in immorality. The first desire of the Christian is to see these people repent and be saved. That is the desire of God and the reason He sent His Son into this world. The mercy of God welcomes every sinner! But the Christian must not be sympathetic of the cause of the wicked. We must know and inform them that their way will utterly perish. If they shun and ignore our efforts to show them the error of their ways, we can take comfort in the justice of a Holy God. We do not rejoice in their destruction, but in the fulfillment of Godís Word. There can be no sympathy for those that are determined to fight against God and His people. The defeat of the wicked means victory for the righteous and sets them free to walk in the light, liberty, and joy of God. Deliverance calls for the gratitude of Godís people on this earth and it awakes the songs of Heaven. There is great joy when we are reminded of the final triumph of Godís Kingdom.
EVIL FOR GOOD
False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. 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. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 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: With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. Psalms 35:11-18
Davidís enemies were men known for their violence and deceit; they were seeking his ruin. The fact that they had no real case against him did not stop them. Not only were they accusing him of things he did not commit; they accused him of things he did not even know about. David had a record of kindness, even to his enemies. But his enemies returned that kindness with evil. They had no pity; their actions hurt him deeply. He had to send his parents away for their safety, he was separated from his wife, separated from his friend, Jonathan, and he was considered the enemy of Saul, whom he loved. There are times when we may find ourselves alone in this world, friendless and without comfort, afflicted and forsaken by all. I canít explain it, but that will be the lot of the righteous at times. David said that when they had troubles, he displayed his deepest sympathy for his enemies. Now his sympathy was repaid with selfishness. His compassion was repaid with contempt But the Bible teaches that the Christian is to have such a testimony. We are not to be as the enemies of God, we are to be different in every way. We cannot return to them the hatred that they have for us. We are to love and pray for others, especially our enemies. Davidís misfortune seemed to be the joy of his enemies. His troubles seemed to bring them satisfaction. Those who were themselves contemptible treated him with contempt. All this was done behind his back. There is no limit to the mocking of the profane. They are cruel and worthless. We see this today in some that call themselves entertainers or comics. They make fun of and mock the righteous in the most profane way imaginable. Sometimes they even go beyond decent imaginations. History is filled with those that have sneered at all things sacred. Religion and righteousness have always been mocked by the enemies of God. They prostitute themselves to wickedness in order to make sport of God and His people. They sell the truth, mock purity, and cast contempt on all that is holy and God-like. May we remember that these words were never used by our Lord as He was rejected and despised of men, on His way to Calvary his mind was on forgiveness, not retribution.
Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions. I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. Psalms 35:17-18
These words are an appeal of the sufferer to the Lord. The Lord, the God of justice, may delay His justice, but we can call on Him in blessed assurance that His justice will surely prevail. He is our ONLY Hope! That is why we can give thanks in the midst of our darkest hours. We are confessing His Name, the Name that is above every name. This great congregation is great because of their number and their communication with the God of Heaven.
What a blessing to be among such people!
GODíS ENEMIES HATE WITHOUT CAUSE
Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land. Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord. Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me. Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up. 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. Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. Psalms 35:19-28
The enemies of God are false accusers, haters without cause, they donít speak peace, but deceit, and they promote strife and disorder. Their insulting laugh and their glaring eye are clear indications that their intentions are evil. It seems that their unholy passions are fed by their wicked actions. Their hate is not simply directed at truth and goodness, but at God Himself. Their spirit is born of Hell itself. God, the silent witness to all that they do will be their final Judge. David, like so many that are oppressed, calls for an end to this silence and for righteous judgment to fall upon them quickly. Not only is God a witness to all that the wicked do; He is a friend to those that they oppress. This friendship causes Him to be a Shield and a Helper. His closeness to the child of God gives them comfort and courage. This friend is also the Judge. David calls on Him to do justice and clear him of any guilt. As they magnify themselves, he asks that the Lord make little of them. He asks that God shame them for shaming His people. He gives thanks to God for answering his prayer. As He praises God for the victory, he calls on his friends to do the same.
THE PRAYER OF GODíS PEOPLE
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. Psalms 35:13
Prayer may be returned to us in different ways. The person that prays in vain or with the wrong motive will not have those prayers answered. Prayer must come from a heart of love not hate.
When my words go up and my thoughts remain below That is when my words will to Heaven never go Godís ear is something the hateful heart cannot know For only to the heart of love will God say, ďIt is soĒ
There are prayers that God hears; yet He does not answer. The reason is known only to Him. Perhaps the time is not right or the one that asks is not fit. It may even be that to refuse is better for us than to grant the request. God refused to relieve Paul of his thorn in the flesh, but that refusal was an act of love. He gave him more than he asked. When our prayer becomes intercessory prayer it not only brings us closer to God, but it brings us closer to the one for whom we pray. It takes us away from selfishness and hate and fills our heart with love.
What is it that lifts manís sinful soul?
THE BEHAVIOR OF A FRIEND
I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. Psalms 35:14
The Bible is filed with instructions that we are to treat others with kindness, as Christ treats us. To simply observe others in trouble only adds to their trouble. The first thing the troubled souls needs is true sympathy. It is like cool water to a thirsty soul, a healing balm to a bleeding wound. It is the man that sympathizes that can truly offer help. Sacrifice is the highest form of love. A person will open their heart to the one that proves his friendship with sacrifice. Jesus is always the same and those that desire to be like Him will have a consistent love and devotion to others.
Love is not love if it canít stand true
So Glad To Be So Saved
Danny "Preacher" Bezet