February 04 2023
Today, Saturday February 05
The “Let” Psalm
“Plead my cause, O LORD, with those who strive with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. Also draw out the spear, And stop those who pursue me. Say to my soul, "I am your salvation." Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor Who seek after my life; Let those be turned back and brought to confusion Who plot my hurt. Let them be like chaff before the wind, And let the angel of the LORD chase them. Let their way be dark and slippery, And let the angel of the LORD pursue them.
For without cause they have hidden their net for me in a pit, Which they have dug without cause for my life. Let destruction come upon him unexpectedly, And let his net that he has hidden catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.
And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, "LORD, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?"
As I was studying through Psalm 35 I couldn’t help but notice the number of times that the word “let” was used. I counted it at least 19 times in my New Kings James Version. Remember David is probably writing this Psalm as he is fleeing for his life from King Saul and he is praying and asking God to aid him in this terrible and discouraging time in his life. He asked the LORD to protect him (vv. 1-10), to reward him (vv. 11-18), and to vindicate him (vv. 19-28).
Saul chose the battlefield, but David turned to the Lord and asked Him to be Advocate and Judge in the dispute. A soldier himself, David envisioned the Lord dressed in armor and wielding his weapons. The buckler was a large shield that covered most of the body. The enemy hated David (v. 19), lied about him (v. 11), persecuted him (v. 2), and wanted to hurt him and kill him (vv. 4, 26), so the conflict was a matter of life and death.
David asked the Lord to block the way and stand between him and Saul and his army (v. 3), just as He had done at The Exodus (Ex. 14). Then he asked that the angel of the Lord (34:7) would confuse the enemy, turn them around, and chase them (v. 4). This would lead to their disgrace, defeat, and eventual destruction (v. 8). In verse 26, he repeated the prayer of verse 4. David frequently mentioned that he was a man with a price on his head so it’s no wonder he asked the Lord for a special word of assurance (v. 3). Confronted by God’s heavenly army, Saul and his men were like the chaff: weightless, worthless, defenseless, and harmless. (See 1:4; 83:13; Isa. 17:13; 29:5; Dan. 2:35; Matt. 3:12).
Please notice, that David followed each of his three requests with a song of praise to the Lord (vv. 9–10, 17–18 and 27–28), showing that his great desire was to magnify Him. David’s joy was in God’s salvation, for which only God could receive the glory. David knew that God had chosen him to be king of Israel and that his greatest task would be to unite and strengthen the kingdom and lead the people back to God. Israel had an important work to do in the world and David’s leadership was essential.
God has chosen us to be His representatives on earth today through His church! We have enemies that hate us and don’t want us around. But we can “let” God take care of them and “let” the LORD protect and vindicate us in the midst of our trials.
As I was thinking about this Psalm as the “Let Psalm”, an old Gospel hymn came to mind I want to close with. I trust it will bless and encourage you as it has me over the many years!”
I must tell Jesus all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
I must tell Jesus all of my troubles;
He is a kind, compassionate Friend;
If I but ask Him, He will deliver,
And in my griefs with me He will blend.
Tempted and tried I need a great Savior,
One who can help my burdens to bear;
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus;
He all my cares and sorrows will share,
O how the world to evil allures me!
O how my heart is tempted to sin!
I must tell Jesus; He will enable
Over the world the vic’try to win.