Daily Devotional Tuesday 4th January

by William Moody

Psalm 35

Great Is the Lord

Of David.

35:1   Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me!
  Take hold of shield and buckler
    and rise for my help!
  Draw the spear and javelin1
    against my pursuers!
  Say to my soul,
    “I am your salvation!”
  Let them be put to shame and dishonor
    who seek after my life!
  Let them be turned back and disappointed
    who devise evil against me!
  Let them be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the LORD driving them away!
  Let their way be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the LORD pursuing them!
  For without cause they hid their net for me;
    without cause they dug a pit for my life.2
  Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
  And let the net that he hid ensnare him;
    let him fall into it—to his destruction!
  Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD,
    exulting in his salvation.
10   All my bones shall say,
    “O LORD, who is like you,
  delivering the poor
    from him who is too strong for him,
    the poor and needy from him who robs him?”
11   Malicious3 witnesses rise up;
    they ask me of things that I do not know.
12   They repay me evil for good;
    my soul is bereft.4
13   But I, when they were sick—
    I wore sackcloth;
    I afflicted myself with fasting;
  I prayed with head bowed5 on my chest.
14     I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
  as one who laments his mother,
    I bowed down in mourning.
15   But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
    they gathered together against me;
  wretches whom I did not know
    tore at me without ceasing;
16   like profane mockers at a feast,6
    they gnash at me with their teeth.
17   How long, O Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their destruction,
    my precious life from the lions!
18   I will thank you in the great congregation;
    in the mighty throng I will praise you.
19   Let not those rejoice over me
    who are wrongfully my foes,
  and let not those wink the eye
    who hate me without cause.
20   For they do not speak peace,
    but against those who are quiet in the land
    they devise words of deceit.
21   They open wide their mouths against me;
    they say, “Aha, Aha!
    Our eyes have seen it!”
22   You have seen, O LORD; be not silent!
    O Lord, be not far from me!
23   Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
    for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24   Vindicate me, O LORD, my God,
    according to your righteousness,
    and let them not rejoice over me!
25   Let them not say in their hearts,
    “Aha, our heart’s desire!”
  Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
26   Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who rejoice at my calamity!
  Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
    who magnify themselves against me!
27   Let those who delight in my righteousness
    shout for joy and be glad
    and say evermore,
  “Great is the LORD,
    who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
28   Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
    and of your praise all the day long.

Footnotes

[1] 35:3 Or and close the way
[2] 35:7 The word pit is transposed from the preceding line; Hebrew For without cause they hid the pit of their net for me; without cause they dug for my life
[3] 35:11 Or Violent
[4] 35:12 Hebrew it is bereavement to my soul
[5] 35:13 Or my prayer shall turn back
[6] 35:16 The meaning of the Hebrew phrase is uncertain

(ESV)

David knew what it meant to be attacked by others in so much of his life. This Psalm guides us how to respond when attacked. We can apply this not just to attacks from humans but from Satan and his fallen angels.

David calls on the Lord to fight the battle for him and to pursue those who attack him (v1-8). We must rely on the Lord to fight our battles for us.

The Psalm changes in tone as David turns to praise for God’s deliverance (v9-10). It is focusing on God and His goodness that will really help sustain us in difficult times. This is really needed because David shares some of the impact of opposition on him (v11-17). At the end of this section David almost seems in despair (v17), but that then changes to faith and praise again (v18).

Going through dark times our thoughts can feel like a yoyo as we fluctuate between focusing on our faith and our feelings.

David calls on God to see what is happening and to act justly for the righteous who suffer and on the wicked who cause this suffering (v19-28). We can always be sure that the Lord misses nothing and in His time both vindication for the righteous and judgment for the wicked will come.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.