Psalm 35 has David asking God to defeat and destroy his enemies. “Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me”. There were many people who fought against David and wanted him gone. And the truth is, that those who fought against David were also opposed to God. David calls on God to not only help protect him with the defensive weapons of a shield and buckler, but also to pull out His offensive weapons of a spear and javelin. David wants God to be actively involved in the battle.
David calls out for a specific result from the battle with his enemies:
- “Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life
- Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me
- Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away
- Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them”
David wants God to not only protect him, but also to make it clear that he has served and known God intimately. He wants God’s intervention, but also His vindication that none of this is warranted and is without cause.
David understands the reality of success – people will take pleasure “at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered; they gathered together against me”. Those who had faced adversity in his patch – he had treated well and expected the same in return. It didn’t happen as they rejoiced in his crisis. But that is often how it goes in life. People attack those who lead and are in the limelight when they have struggles. The mob attacks anyone who becomes vulnerable and they feel they can bring down to their level.
David does know that God will help him. He prays for God’s intervention, and has confidence in His response. David pleads with God to be his deliverer. He calls Him Lord knowing that God not only hears, but will take up his cause. But David continues to plead not only for victory over his enemies, but also vindication of any wrong. He wants the people to know that he is obedient and pure. And he longs to be able to tell the world of God’s faithfulness – “my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long”.