Sunday, July 24, 2011

Psalm 35

1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4 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.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10 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?
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 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.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15 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:
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 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.
27 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.
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.

Key Verse:
1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.

Key Outline:
1. v. 1-10 David asks God to protect him
2. v. 11-28 David presents his case, asking God to judge.

Key Observation:
God will judge wickedness.

Memory Verse:
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.

McGee says that, and I agree, this psalm is prophetic of the nation Israel when it is in the Tribulation period. Israel will cry and cry for relief, and when their Lord returns the Bible says: “They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.” (Zech. 12:10) Israel will not know whether to cry for their sins or to rejoice at their Savior on that day.

Once I was in a church situation where I saw real sin going on in the life of a church staff person. He was caught with outrageously bending the truth to fit his perception, although those perceptions were causing great harm to those around him. My inclination was to fight, to argue, to present my cause and win vindication. Did the Lord allow me to do that? Of course not! In this psalm we are told of a similar situation for David, in which his hands were tied, and he was unable to prove his integrity.

He asks for the Lord to defend him. And that is exactly what I had to do. I had to turn the whole thing over to the Lord. With my feet I had to walk away from the congregation that I loved; with my heart I had to pray through to God for deliverance. It took over two years, but God did answer, and the man was found out in his sin. It was so hard for me not to take things into my own hands, but instead rely on the Lord for his righteousness. But it was the right path and I learned much!

We who stand for the truth, who stand in faith before God, can look forward to the day when the Lord himself will judge the world in its wickedness. The challenge to me is to remember that day is coming, and, but for the love and concern of a few Christians who cared enough to witness to me, I might yet be as the wicked. Every day I need to redeem my time wisely, choosing my course carefully, and “rightly dividing” the word of truth to those around me, in hope that they, too, might find the grace of God.

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