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Psalm 35 Jan. 18 By David.  1Contend, Yahweh, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for my help. 3Brandish the spear and block those who pursue me. Tell my soul, I am Your salvation. 4Let those who seek after my soul be disappointed and brought to dishonour. Let those who plot my ruin be turned back and confounded. 5Let them be as chaff before the wind, Yahweh’s angel driving them on. 6Let their way be dark and slippery, Yahweh’s angel pursuing them. 7For without cause they have hidden their net in a pit for me, without cause they have dug a pit for my soul. 8Let destruction come on him unawares. Let his net that he has hidden catch himself; let him fall into that destruction.  9My soul shall be joyful in Yahweh, I shall rejoice in His salvation. 10All my bones shall say, Yahweh, who is like You, who delivers the poor from him who is too strong for him; yes, the poor and the needy from him who robs him? 11Unrighteous witnesses rise up; they accuse me of things that I know nothing about. 12They reward me evil for good, to the bereaving of my soul.  13But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth, I afflicted my soul with fasting. My prayer returned into my own bosom. 14I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother. I bowed down mourning, as one who mourns his mother. 15But in my adversity, they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together. The attackers gathered themselves together against me, and I didn’t know it. They tore at me, and didn’t cease. 16Like the profane mockers in feasts, they gnashed their teeth at me. 17Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their destruction, my precious life from the lions. 18I will give You thanks in the great assembly, I will praise You among many people. 19Don’t let those who are my enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let those who hate me without a cause wink their eyes. 20For they don’t speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 21Yes, they opened their mouth wide against me. They said, Aha! Aha! Our eye has seen it! 22You have seen it, Yahweh. Don’t keep silent. Lord, don’t be far from me. 23Wake up! Rise up to defend me, my God! My Lord, contend for me! 24Vindicate me, Yahweh my God, according to Your righteousness. Don’t let them gloat over me. 25Don’t let them say in their heart, Aha! That’s just the way we want it! Don’t let them say, We have swallowed him up! 26Let them be disappointed and confounded together who rejoice at my calamity. Let them be clothed with shame and dishonour who magnify themselves against me.  27Let them shout for joy and be glad, who favour my righteous cause. Yes, let them say continually, Yahweh be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant! 28My tongue shall talk about Your righteousness and about Your praise all day long.   


35:3 Tell my soul, “I am Your salvation”- David so often tells himself and us that God is indeed his salvation. But here he is asking God to speak directly to his heart and persuade him deeper of this truth. We too can ask God to directly increase our faith.
35:5,6 Threshing and winnowing the wheat from the chaff is a common Biblical metaphor for the final day of judgment. The rejected will be chased away from Christ by the Angels into darkness (:6). The Bible teaches that Jesus will return from Heaven to judge us with the Angels with Him; they will play a part in the judgment process, which will be appropriate as they have been our guardians and stood with us through every moment of our lives (see on 34:7). There are frequent Biblical descriptions of the punishment of the wicked, wallowing at least for some period in darkness, rejected from the Lord they so wish to now be with [hence they are chased away from Him, as Adam was out of Eden, again by Angels]. These aren’t to scare us into obedience, but to bring constantly before us the sober importance of the eternal issues which we face (see 2 Cor. 5:11).
35:14 I bowed down mourning, as one who mourns his mother- David speaks in the context of his love for Saul despite the endless persecution he received from him, and here alludes to his famous lament over Saul at his death (2 Sam. 1). A man mourning for his mother, rather than a woman for her mother or a father for his son, is a carefully chosen similitude. For a man’s mourning for his mother features the bitter regret that ‘I didn’t appreciate her as I should’ve done’. And this was how David felt for Saul at his end. In this we see a most unusual level of love and sensitivity. And yet even that is but a dim reflection of the colossal love of God and Jesus for us, and their sensitivity to us and appreciation of our feeble spirituality.