David knew what it was like to be treated unjustly. In Psalm 35 he describes his condition. People he had once befriended now fought against him (v. 1), sought his life and plotted his ruin (v. 4), built a trap for him to fall into (v. 7), ruthlessly made false accusations (v. 11,20), jeered and mocked him (v. 15), gloated over his calamity (v. 19,21,25), and considered themselves better (v. 26). David knew about the deep pain of rejection and abandonment.
He also knew what to do about it. He knew to bring all of the toxic emotions to the only One who could fight his battles and bring kingdom justices to his circumstances. David was honest with his emotions. The pain was real. But David didn’t permit his emotions to overrule his trust in God. Despite sorrow and anguish over being betrayed, he sings the truths that cannot be shaken: the Lord is our salvation (v. 3), none is like the Lord who rescues the poor and needy (v. 10), He delights in the well-being of His servant (v. 27), and He can be counted upon to act since He is righteous (v. 24,28).
In Psalm 35 notice what is God’s part (contending, fighting, rescuing, defending, vindication, saving) and what is David’s part (praising, worshiping, trusting). Like David you can ask God to deal with the those who acted unjustly and then leave the resolution in God’s hands, while you do your part, which is delighting in God.
I ask God to:
1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid.
3 Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
4 May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame;
May those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay.
5 May they be like chaff before the wind with the angel of the Lord driving them away.
6 May their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 Since they hid their net and dug a pit for me without cause,
8 May ruin overtake them by surprise—
May the net they hid entangle them; may they fall into the pit to their ruin.
What I will do:
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in His salvation.
10 My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, O Lord?
You rescue the poor from those too strong for them,
The poor and needy from those who rob them.”
13 I put on sackcloth and humbled myself with fasting.
14 I went about mourning as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief as though weeping for my mother.
I ask God:
17 O Lord, how long will You look on?
Rescue my life from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.
What I will do:
18 I will give You thanks and praise You among the people.
I ask God:
19 Don’t let those gloat over me who are my enemies without cause;
Don’t let those who hate me without reason maliciously wink the eye.
22 O Lord, You have seen this; don’t be silent.
Do not be far from me, O Lord.
23 Awake, arise to my defense! Contend for me, my God and Lord.
24 Vindicate me in Your righteousness, O Lord my God;
Don’t let them gloat over me.
25 Don’t let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
26 May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion;
May all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.
God has the last word: The last word is praise!
27 May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness;
May they always say, “The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of His servant.”
28 My tongue will speak of Your righteousness and of Your praises all day long.
By Elizabeth Gunter © 2018. Attributes taken from Prayer Essentials For Living In His Presence, Volume 1, page 218-219, © Sylvia Gunter 2000. Click here to learn more and order a copy of the book.
An archive of past devotionals is available on the website.