Holy God, may this day reverberate with the praise to You that I cannot hold back. You deserve it.
Read Psalm 35:1–28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
When we are attacked or accused, Psalm 35 gives us pointers on how to deal with it. We can vent our feelings of aggression to the Lord, and commit our need for vindication to him.
Why doesn’t God do something?! Day after day the news shows us horror, injustice and evil—and we feel overwhelmed. With David, we might protest, “How long, Lord, will you look on?” (17). However, prayer submits the details of our lives to God’s agenda—to his timetable. In the end, we trust in his judgment and justice. The prophet Zechariah shows us a God who defends his people and ultimately brings victory through the Messiah (Zech. 14:9). Here, David—fleeing for his life, suffering injustice, malice and mockery—determinedly praises God: “My tongue will proclaim… your praises” (28). God is concerned about the stories of our lives, as well as the big picture.
David’s enemies are violent and deceitful; they are out to get him (7). He keeps on trying to do things right—praying for his opponents—but they respond with mockery and bad intent (25). The language David uses might seem vindictive (1–10), yet here David recognizes the reality of evil and expresses his confidence in God who will, eventually, put things right (Rev. 18:1—19:2). Meanwhile, what can we do?
Sometimes God calls us to action—for example, “Build my house,” as in Haggai and Zechariah—but it is his agenda. Sometimes we must simply wait, bearing the unfairness, our weakness and poverty—praying for those who make our lives difficult (Matt. 5:44). The agents of evil in our world might sneer at our gentleness and passivity, misinterpreting it for weakness (19–21), but, like David, we can depend on God: he is the one who rescues us (10), fights for us (23) and delights in us (27). In the midst of our suffering, we can express joy and gladness, as we testify to the greatness of our God, on whom we depend.
How do you respond when people treat you unfairly? In what life situation do you wish the Lord would fight for you?
“Alleluia! Sing to Jesus! / His the scepter, his the throne / Alleluia! His the triumph, / His the victory alone” (W. C. Dix, 1837–1898).
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.