Ruthless witnesses come forward;
they question me on things I know nothing about.
They repay me evil for good
and leave me like one bereaved.
Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
I went about mourning
as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
as though weeping for my mother. (v. 11-14)
I am very convicted by David’s heart for others. When they were sick, he fasted for them, and mourned and wept for them. Am I practicing this type of love? My friend lost her job. Am I fasting and grieving with her?
This passage in Ps. 35 is a good one to encourage all of us to love sacrificially.
- “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:18
- “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your welfare. Phil 2:20
Psalms 35 goes on —
Rescue me from their ravages,
my precious life from these lions.
I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among the throngs I will praise you.
It was very important to David that when God answered his prayers, he would thank and praise God publicly. David said in II Samuel 22:49-50 that he would not only praise God in front of his fellow Jewish believers, but he would praise God in the hearing of the pagan nations.
You exalted me above my foes;
from a violent man you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing the praises of your name
David knew that he needed to praise, so that people would see God through him.
Today, we still need to help people see the glory of God through praise and thanks for how he is personally working in our lives. In fact, it is our purpose.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:0
“I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.” Isa 43:20b-21
As we go about our days, let’s tell others the latest story of how God has answered our prayers. Let’s glorify God more!
Ps. 35 ends with this passage:
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.”
My tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
your praises all day long.
I love where David says that God delights in the well-being of his servant. Here are some other translations of that verse:
- who delights in giving peace to his servant.”
- he wants his servant to be secure.
- Who delights in the prosperity of His servant.
- who delights in the welfare of his servant!
What an amazing God we serve! His heart’s desire, his great pleasure, is in taking care of us and helping us to do well. He wants us to be secure, and at peace. This is a theme throughout the Bible.
- I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, Jer. 32:40
- If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matt 7:11
May this encourage us. God loves to work for our good. When he does, let us praise him publicly. And let this motivate us to actively work for the good of others, as David did.