In Isolation Thoughts 2

PSALM 35

Deliverance, Defence & Delight

This is another psalm of David which covers a whole range of feelings and issues that he is experiencing. It is useful perhaps, to remember that although the Psalms are the hymns for the Jewish people, in writing them there was a two-fold purpose. Firstly, David wrote them for himself, they are intently personal and reflect so often, the innermost feelings that he is experiencing. It is a useful practice, when facing up to personal issues, to write them down and review what you have written. It often as you reflect on the issues, that you begin to put them into perspective. What seems to be so upsetting or a major concern, fades into reality when it is placed outside your mind and thoughts. You can consider what perspective others may see of the matters that are causing you so much concern. We can be certain that David wrote many more things than are recorded in the Bible as his psalms, so the ones preserved became the basis for the people to use in their worship, yet at the same time, give sound advice in dealing with the matters that arise in anyone’s life.

The case for his need v 1-3

In his opening outline, David deals immediately with the problem, he is facing opposition. It is obviously quite a serious threat because he calls for help and asks for it in military terms. He wanted a shield and armour. For what purpose? A shield will be useful in deflecting any weapons used in an attack and armour provides personal protection. He wanted the Lord to put a strong defence around him. Only when the defence is in place, does he suggest that there would also be an attack, using the spear and javelin. One could read into the naming of these weapons that the attack is a distance attack. It is not hand to hand fighting with a sword, but an attack at a distance from his position, well before it gets close to hand.

  • The personal support is in place with the shield and armour, so the attack is made to stop. David feels that he is running from the enemy and wants God to intervene and not allow the attack to get to him, even though he has protection.
  • Then comes a plea for reassurance. Despite all he knows about God and the way he has experienced His keeping, support and power in his life, he wants that reassurance that salvation is God’s intention. He wants God to tell him, once again that He is his God who hears his plea and will act. There is also, despite his worry, his faith that the Lord will act and save him in this situation.
  • We need to realise that in Christ, we have the same protection and deliverance. It is good for us to remind ourselves of the protection the Lord provides, the defence He gives us and the power of the Holy Spirit in coming to our rescue. The enemy we faced was sin, Jesus conquered that for us, and now He helps us to live our lives on a daily basis. Sometimes we need that reassurance that we have salvation, especially when we feel that we are facing what seem unsurmountable issues, when we feel alone and helpless. Doubts may arise, so we need to be given the assurance that God is there and in control, we have to fall into His arms, trust Him, He will not fail.

The case for deliverance v 4-8

  • Now it is all very well saying he needed help, but it was not a matter of feeling, it was a reality. So David lists what was happening, what were the real issues that caused him to turn again to the Lord. There were a number of issues that he was facing
    • They were after his life, they wanted to kill him
    • They wanted to ruin his life, so that he would be disgraced, and everyone would turn against him
    • They were setting traps into which he would fall, the nets and the pit. He would then find himself trapped and open to ridicule.
    • He calls on the Lord to frustrate their plans and actions, so that he can proclaim the Lord’s deliverance.  He suggests to God, how this may be accomplished.
    • The plotters are to be disgraced
    • The ruin seekers are frustrated
    • They all could be blown away like chaff in the wind
    • They could slip and fall on a dark path
    • They themselves, could fall into the traps they had set for him, bring the ruin that had planned to fall on him, be imposed on them. This brings to mind the outcome for Haman in the events found in the Book of Esther.
    • If all these suggestions are not enough, then let the angel of the Lord appear and be a driving force.
    • It is interesting that David, having raised the matter with the Lord, then proceeds to suggest to God how He should deal with it. Each mode of attack is turned on itself, the angel of the Lord comes as a driving force to make these things happen. The solution is seen as his suggestion and not waiting for the Lord to act. Does he feel that the Lord needs to get on with His act, rather than David sitting back and allowing God to deal with it in His own way and time?
    • Do we sometimes plan God’s plan for Him, this is the way for you to deal with it? Do we try to pre-empt God with our own thinking? I wonder if a human mind would have considered the crucifixion of the Son of God as a way of universal salvation. Would a committee have chosen the first century as the right time to introduce a new way to approach God. Man would have created a number of tests or feats to achieve to enable mankind to come to God, there would be a fee to be paid. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful that God did it all and it is free and available to all irrespective of colour, race or status? Remember that God’s way is always best.   

 

Praise for the Lord’s response v 9-11

  • David now breaks into the situation with words of praise and worship. He is rejoicing that the Lord will act and bring him salvation. Note it is His salvation and not David’s proposals. He is really caught up in his praise, it is felt in his whole being, it comes from within and resonates through his entire body and mind. He exclaims that the Lord is unique, there is no-one like Him. Only God could act to bring him salvation. He recognises that his own situation is a position of weakness and he is faced with the strong who have a power that he cannot match. Yet the Lord delivers him and anyone in this situation.
  • Do we stop, take breath and consider the way in which the Lord is dealing with us? Do we always give praise for the actions God is taking in response to our issue? Even in the middle of the problem, we need to start giving Him praise, we need to show our faith in His wisdom.

The case for his defence v 12-17

  • David comes back to his defence and outlines ways in which he has tried to alleviate the situation.
  • He faces false witnesses; he is asked impossible questions- how can he answer these things
  • He tries to do good, but the response is outright evil, it makes him feel devastated
  • He cares for the sick, humbling himself in the whole community, he fasts to support his prayer. Even when he felt his prayers were not answered, he continued to pray in earnest. He acted like one who was in mourning for a loved one, so intense was his concern
  • They mocked him for his supportive actions, they acted in secret against him, they spoke untruth and published these falsehoods. Even his own nation were acting like the ungodly nations, they rejected him in all ways possible.
  • In despair he cries out, ‘How long, will you allow this to happen?’ He then calls on the Lord to rescue him from what he sees as savage attacks on his life and integrity.
  • When do we finally cry out in desperation to the Lord? Do we get to the point when we feel we cannot go on any longer, do we call out in a plea which acknowledges our own inability to deal with the situation? We need His rescue and must look to the Lord.

 

    Praise in expectation of God’s action v 18

  • In the middle of what seems to be an increasingly hopeless situation, when all hope appears to have gone, when a cry for rescue has gone to the Lord, David praises God. He gives public thanks for the Lord’s dealing with the situation. He praises God in anticipation for His action.
  • Would we praise God in anticipation? I am sure we would be more likely to thank God when it was all over. Are we willing to give thanks and praise in anticipation of the Lord’s action? This is a challenge to us all!

 

The case for defence continues v 19-25

  • David moves to the insidious attacks that cause mental problems, it is a very subtle way of attacking him. The gloating that causes hurt, the hatred that is unjustified, the knowing wink, nudge, nudge which is very uncomfortable to experience. Some stir matters by false accusations, try to disrupt his peace and sneer at him. All these are very destructive ways of unsettling, not only to David but to anyone.
  • Then he turns for help, calling to God to deal with matter with His almighty power. He calls on the Lord to make His presence seen and felt. A call to stand up for him in defence of his life. He believes that if the Lord is seen to be defending him then he can be vindicated in the eyes of those who oppose him. He recognises that God is righteous, and His support and intervention will be unchallenged. He asks that, once again, their schemes are turned back on themselves, so they suffer what they had planned for David. He trusts in the Lord to show his support and turn aside the shame and disgrace, which is undeserved, and allows him to stand firm in his witness, giving credit to the Lord.
  • We should be aware that our actions can be hurtful to others. We need to be careful in what we say and do to others. Our prayer should be that we are kept from acting in a hurtful way, to have awareness, as sometimes we can act in a manner that causes offence and not be aware that we are doing it.

Praise for the outcome v 26-28

  • In his final section, David is back to an attitude of praise. He calls this time, not to God, but to the people to join with him in thanksgiving. But the praise is to the Lord. A joyful, loud expression of gratitude for what the Lord has done. It is a plea for worship and exaltation of a mighty God. He promises that he will be vocal in his praise, so all can hear it and it will be continuous.
  • I suppose it is not difficult to respond with thanks at the end when we see how the Lord has responded to our situation. We should also share our thanks to everyone but at the same time not give glory to ourselves because of our reaction to what God has done. The glory is not ours but His.

This Psalm covers a whole range of attacks that can be made on us at any time. We need to be aware at all times of the potential for attack on our faith, if we are discredited, then the Lord is discredited. We need to trust in the Lord for our witness, especially as it was the command of Jesus, just before he returned to the Father in heaven. We are to be witnesses for Him, making disciples or followers of the faith. Stand firm in His power and depend on Him for your strength at all times.

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 14th May 2020 11:16 PM
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