Today, Monday February 06
“Vindicate Me, O LORD My God”
“Let them not rejoice over me who are wrongfully my enemies; Nor let them wink with the eye who hate me without a cause. For they do not speak peace, But they devise deceitful matters Against the quiet ones in the land. They also opened their mouth wide against me, And said, "Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it."
This You have seen, O LORD; Do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. Stir up Yourself, and awake to my vindication, To my cause, my God and my Lord. Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me.
Let them not say in their hearts, "Ah, so we would have it!" Let them not say, "We have swallowed him up." Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion Who rejoice at my hurt; Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor Who exalt themselves against me.
Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, "Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." And my tongue shall speak of Your righteousness And of Your praise all the day long.”
I love reading and meditating on the Psalms. I’m looking forward to reading through the entire book of all 150 chapters with you over the next several months. I’m convinced that we can learn as much about the Lord Jesus from the Psalms as we can anywhere else in Scripture. Remember after the Lord resurrected and He was meeting with the disciples in the upper room, revealing Himself to their unbelieving hearts He said, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44).
Jesus included the Psalms as a great source of learning about how He is the fulfilment of all the prophecies concerning the Messiah! I believe the Psalms bring us close to the heart of God and teach us how to both pray and to praise Him. When the Lord hears us praying and personalizing the Psalms it must bring Him great pleasure and He hears His own Word come back to Him. The Psalms teach us to pray in faith because “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). And “without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6)!
In this last section of Psalm 35, David prays for the LORD to vindicate him (vv. 19-28). As you read these verses you can’t help but get the picture that David was almost to the end of the rope and the enemy was confident of victory. "Aha, aha, our eyes have seen it". They thought they were about to see David's defeat (v. 21). In his imagination, David saw Saul's men winking at each other arrogantly (Prov. 6:13; 10:10), as if to say, "He's done for!" They would never accept a truce or even talk about peace.
But we should remember that this was God's way of judging Saul for his sins and eliminating him from the political equation in Israel. After Saul's death, David had seven years of trouble with Saul's son (2 Sam. 1-4), but the Lord eventually solved that problem. David prayed that God would vindicate him, because David's cause was God's cause, and the Lord's reputation was at stake (v. 24). In verse 26, he repeated his request from verse 4 and asked that the enemy be shamefully defeated. David's desire was that the Lord be magnified in His own way and in His own time.
I love the way this Psalm ends. In contrast to the shame of the enemy in their defeat, are the joyful shouts of the righteous in David's victory (vv. 27-28). Unlike Elijah, who felt he was fighting all alone (1 Kings 19:10-18), David knew that many people in Israel supported him, those who were living "quietly in the land" (v. 20). Even in the darkest days of Israel's history, there has always been a faithful remnant that stayed true to the Lord and prayed for His will to be done. Thank God, we still have a faithful praying remnant in America today too!
David closed the psalm with a song of confidence and joy, witnessing to God's righteousness and power. The word translated "prosperity" (v. 27) is the familiar Hebrew word "shalom—peace," which means much more than a mere cessation of hostilities. It carries the idea of well-being in every aspect of life, including peace with God, with others, with yourself, and with the circumstances of your life.
David's experience reminds us of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, who was also hated without a cause (John 15:25) and falsely accused and attacked by those for whom He had shown nothing but kindness and love. God delivered David from his enemies, but the Father "spared not his own son but willingly gave Him up” to die for the sins of the world. Now we can be assured that “He will freely give us everything we need to overcome the enemy and live as conquerors” (Romans 8:31-39)!