Have you ever been blindsided? Not only have you been caught by surprise, but attacked by someone that you would never expect? It could be a good friend that you trusted, a long time colleague, or a member of your own family. We share this common experience. We expect opposition from our enemies, but not from people that we have not wronged.
Psalm 35 is a cry from David. He is not crying because of the persecution that Saul unleashed against him. He is crying because people who knew him were raising their hands and voices against him.
We find his complaint in these sentences: “those who seek my life”, “those who plot my ruin”, “they hid their net for me without cause and without cause dug a pit for me”. He also mentions the time that he helped them, and now they are paying him with evil for good. Here are his words: “They repay me evil for good and leave my soul forlorn. Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting. When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother. I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother. Psa. 35:12-14.”
He suffered with them, he fasted for them, he prayed for them, and he cried with them and for them, and then they turned against him. Here is how David described what they did: “But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee; attackers gathered against me when I was unaware. They slandered me without ceasing. Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked; they gnashed their teeth at me. Psa. 35:15-16.”
How could he handle this kind of situation? Isn’t it bad enough to have the king coming after you? Now you have to worry about people that you know and care about? As you see David can help us to go through this kind of situation.
The first thing that David did was to ask God to fight that fight for him, “Psa. 35:1 Contend, O LORD, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.” David cannot fight all those fronts by himself, so he asks God to fight for him.
David also doesn’t have a problem being frank with God, “Psa. 35:17 O Lord, how long will you look on?” And “Psa. 35:22 O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord.” But not only that, he is specific enough in telling the LORD what He should do to his enemies. The list is too long for me to include here. David does not have a problem exposing his heart before God and in front of the people. Do not forget this is a song and not a secret document. People would listen, learn, and sing this song. David’s sincerity is shockingly amazing.
But one thing that we all should learn from David’s experience is his desire to have God close to him, not only protecting him but also assuring him that everything will be OK. We can feel that in this verse: “Say to my soul, “I am your salvation. Psa. 35:3”. David is like all of us who have been in this kind of situation. He only wants to be sure that God is with him and close enough to whisper to his soul “I am your salvation”.
Have a blessed week,