A couple years ago I started writing through the Psalms in an effort to work out my finger muscles and then, well, I just got lazy and stopped.
So I thought tonight would be a great night to pick it back up with Psalm 35.
This psalm shows how the faithful people of God should pray when malicious people are seeking to harm them. It’s an interesting one to open up to on a day like today, where our nation’s capital has, essentially, been attacked.
It would be easy for me to take these verses and put a nice American twist on them, focusing on how God should rescue America from those that scheme against us (and let you interpret for yourself who the schemers are). But, may I remind us that God is not under America’s control. America is under God’s control. Because all of time and place is under God’s control. And the Bible does not exist to justify, or satisfy, our political or national agendas.
The plea of verse 1 – “Content, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me!” – has nothing to do with national imprecation.
Sure, David was singing this song of prayer while he was being pursued by enemies. He was crying out for his God to intervene and save his life. But David is not America.
This psalm does, however, have everything to do with God’s people being confident enough in the One who says He will, and already has, fight for His people. The One who defeated death so that we might have life. And, follower of Jesus, you belong to a Kingdom that America will never fully understand.
The cry of verse 1 is that God will take up the cause of His people.
This feels really disjointed and floppy and just not well written, but my finger muscles are starting to get worked out again and sometimes the first workout back is always the choppiest.
So with that in mind, I end with this prayer:
Holy, Just, and Righteous God – take up the cause of Your people. Give me, and those reading, consistent desire to hand our cause over to You – to be molded by Your Word, Your Spirit, and Your Father heart for us. When we ask, “How long, O Lord, will you look on?”, remind us that you are continually with us – that nothing catches You off guard. Remind us that You are still God and You are still good. That your mercy endures forever. That You will not be put to shame. And that Your Kingdom will reign eternal.