Psalm 35-38 (NIV, NCV, NKJV, Message and NLT)
Chris Tall, Worship and Arts
Well here goes, 4 psalms in 4 minutes. Hang on!
I hope that you and I never have to pray words like this. “O Lord, oppose those who oppose me. Fight against those who fight against me.” Or, “Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue me from their destructions, my precious life from the lions.”
David was being attacked unjustly. And he turned to God for help. While I hope never to be in a situation like David, the lesson I see here is learning when to turn to God. The question I’m asking myself is “Am I dependent on God?”
I like how the NKJV titles this Psalm, “Man’s Wickedness and God’s Perfections”
And David covers that dynamic in a 1-2-3 punch.
Punch 1: In verses 1-4 he speaks of the wicked: “Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts.” And, “They make no attempt to turn from evil.”
Punch 2: In verses 5-9 he praises God: “How priceless is your unfailing love!”
Punch 3: In verses 10-12 he is the cheerleader. Go God! “Look! Those who do evil have fallen! They are thrown down, never to rise again.”
In Psalm 35 David promises God that he will praise him after God comes to his aid. Verse 18 says “I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among throngs of people I will praise you.”
In Psalm 36 he does just that. The lesson here… when God comes to your rescue, Praise him!
This Psalm is well known for v.11 “The meek shall inherit the earth.” The NKJV finishes that verse “And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” But like Psalm 36, this Psalm is more about the “The heritage of the Righteous and the Calamity of the Wicked” as the NKJV titles it.
David’s overall point is that no matter how hard the wicked try, in the end their efforts are a waste.
The key verses for me are 14-15. The very swords and bows they plan to use are turned against them.
The Message bible sums it up well, “A banana peel lands them flat on their faces – slapstick figures in a moral circus.” BAM!
This is a Job time for David. Sickness has set in, friends withdraw, enemies move in.
David turns to God.
While David implies that he has done something to illicit this sickness (v.1-2), he still looks to God and pleads “do not forsake me” (v.21). Throughout this Psalm one can feel David’s despair. It is only in the last few verses that David’s mood shifts from woe’s me, to asking the Lord to “Come quickly.”
In this Psalm David is at the point of his worse sin despair, and it is right before he begins to climb out.
And he knows what is needed to climb out of this pit–God.
May we do the same should we find ourselves in a similar situation.