The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 35 Part 1

I hope you don’t feel rushed off your feet with these Psalms flying at you 😊 To give you a little rest we will start off this week by reading Psalm 35:1-14 

David’s prayers revealed a great deal about what kind of person he was. Our prayers reveal the same thing about us. 

Evil men had risen up against David without any justifiable reason. This is not surprising. When we walk in obedience to the will of G-d the enemy does not like it and will stand in opposition to us (attack us). 

v1: David wants G-d to be in opposition to/against those who are opposing David. 

  • Fight: A word of warfare. David often had very little help from others in warfare situations. Therefore, he often turned to G-d as G-d was the only One who he could really rely on. 

v2: Shield and buckler – two weapons of warfare. David does not want his enemies to be successful against him so he’s asking G-d to strengthen those things that protect him. 

  • Stand up – David is petitioning G-d for assistance as he has no one else to turn to. He doesn’t petition G-d as a last resort. He realises his absolute dependence upon G-d.

v3: Draw out the spear – remove it from its sheath.

  • Stop – bring their pursuit to an end.
  • Say to my soul…: David wants G-d to reaffirm that David’s salvation is found in the L-rd. David doesn’t want to be defeated, but he has in mind to accomplish the things of G-d. 

v4: Put to shame – be discredited, embarrassment for wrong behaviour. David wants G-d to show his enemies that their actions are going to lead to shame being placed on them. 

v5: David realises that a separation is going to take place between him and his enemies (they are going to be blown away like chaff). Like chaff blowing away G-d is able to easily move David’s enemies out of his presence. 

v6: Slippery is a word that implies that a fall is coming. It’s a word that depicts danger.

  • Let the angel….this is the second time that David has testified of his faith in G-d to despatch angels. Often the angel of the L-rd is spoken of within the context of salvation/deliverance.

v7: Without cause: David is saying that he is innocent. The enemies are rising up against David although he has done them no wrong – all he has done has been to submit to the purposes of G-d. This has brought attack against his life. 

  • Net…pit: They are waiting in ambush for David. The enemy has gone to great lengths to capture him. 
  • “Pit” is a significant word because it speaks of a place of retribution, a place of judgment. 

v8: David is asking G-d to let his enemies be totally annihilated – without warning. People who are living for the purposes of the enemy are going to be totally unprepared for the judgment of G-d. 

v9: This verse ushers in a change. David moves from petitioning G-d to praising Him. David is confident in G-d’s response. He knows that G-d is going to move against his enemies, and he thanks the L-rd for what He is going to do. David is expecting deliverance, and this causes him joy despite his circumstances. 

v10: At a very foundational level David knows that there is no one like the L-rd. 

  • Poor and needy – David’s enemies are greater than him (eg King Saul), but he is ok with that as he knows that G-d is like a lifeguard to him and is going to rescue him.

v11: Fierce (violent) witnesses = false witnesses rise up against David as they delight in causing him suffering and pain. They are not interested in the truth. David doesn’t know what they are talking about (‘ask me things I do not know’) so is unable to defend himself. 

v12: David does good to these people, but they repay him with evil. 

  • Sorrow of my soul – an intense sadness, grief or despair. The enemy knows the power of praise, thanksgiving etc. He knows that G-d responds quickly to those who praise Him. This is why he wants to plunge us into despair so that we become discouraged (in a weakened state) and don’t praise, so that G-d does not come quickly to deliver us. 

v13: David is talking about how he has treated his enemies in the past. When they were sick he sought G-d on their behalf. He mourned for them (put on sackcloth) and he afflicted himself (fasted) for them. 

  • My prayer would return to my own heart – David is asking for what he prayed for them to be returned to him in the situation he now finds himself in. 

v14: David is restating what he has done for these individuals. He wholeheartedly cared for them – even to the point of bending under the weight of his concern for them (bowed down heavily). David didn’t ignore them when they were down. He took steps to bring about their restoration. Note: We must never blame G-d for the disobedience and the betrayal of others.

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