Introduction: The psalms contain a number of prayers where David or others asked for God to destroy or curse their enemies. These are called “imprecatory psalms.” Some find these psalms troubling and inconsistent with Jesus’ command to “love your enemies.” (Matt. 5:44). But in this psalm, David’s requests can be interpreted as his heartfelt requests for God’s perfect justice when he was seeking to do God’s will. When you are attacked for doing God’s will, David’s psalm reveals seven types of blessings that God offers you. These include: (1) protection, (2) justice, (3) His sovereignty, (4) exaltation, (5) comfort, (6) deliverance, and (7) restoration.
First, when he was slandered for doing what God called upon him to do, David cried out to God for protection. God answered his prayers and protected him. When you are attacked for God’s will, He will also protect you. Second, David cried out for God to judge those who engaged in evil against him as he sought to do God’s will. God answered these prayers. But He did so in His timing. When you do God’s will, He will also be just and fair with you. Third, instead of trying to right the wrongs against him, David had confidence in God’s sovereign power to deliver him. Also, when you do God’s will, His plans cannot be thwarted. Fourth, David was humbled in the face of ongoing attacks against him. God later exalted David. When you do God’s will in humility, He will also one day exalt you. Fifth, David cried out to God in sadness in the face of the ongoing attacks against him. God rewarded his faith by comforting him. When you do God’s will, He will also comfort you when you face sorrow or setbacks. Sixth, because he was doing God’s will, David cried out for God to deliver him. When you do God’s will, He will deliver you from any evil. Finally, before he was able to see the outcome of his prayers, David praised God in faith for his ultimate vindication. When you are attacked for doing God’s will, God will also restore what you have lost because of sin. Thus, He is worthy of your praise.
1. Protection: When You Do God’s Will, He Will Protect You. Ps. 35:1-3.
David took refuge in God. When he faced attacks, David cried out to God for protection: “A Psalm of David. 1 Contend, Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. 2 Take hold of buckler and shield and rise up as my help. 3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’” (Ps. 35:1-3). David asked God to protect his reputation from false charges, to protect him from physical harm and to right the many wrongs against him.
Let Jesus, your Advocate, protect you and plead your case for you. David urged God to “contend” with his enemies (Ps. 35:1). This implied that David sought God’s advocacy in a divine court of justice. “Vindicate me, God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; Save me from the deceitful and unjust person!” (Ps. 43:1). “Plead my cause and redeem me; revive me according to Your word.” (Ps. 119:154). Jesus is your Advocate in heaven who “contends” with the accusations that the enemy throws against you: “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;” (1 Jo. 2:1b). Whenever you feel attacked, cry out to Jesus to be your Advocate.
God is a shield to the righteous. David also pleaded with God to use His “shield” (Ps. 35:2). David repeatedly called upon God to be his “shield.” (Ps. 7:10). “3 But You, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). He is a shield to anyone who takes refuge in Him: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my savior, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. . . As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is refined; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” (Ps. 18:2, 30). “A Mikhtam of David. Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.” (Ps. 16:1). “To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness . . . My times are in Your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me.” (Ps. 31:1, 15). “In You, LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.” (Ps. 71:1). “Many are my persecutors and my enemies, yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.” (Ps. 119:157). He can also be your shield when you depend upon Him. “As for God, His way is blameless; the word of the LORD is refined; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.” (2 Sam. 22:31). “For You bless the righteous person, LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield.” (Ps. 5:12). Solomon also repeated David’s advice: “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” (Prov. 30:5). Satan once complained about a “hedge of protection” that God had placed around Job (Job 1:10). If you want to receive God’s hedge of protection, take refuge in Him.
God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword. David also asked God to protect him with His “spear” and “battle-axe.” (Ps. 35:3). God’s weapon is His mighty Word. His Word is more powerful than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12).
When others attack you, cry out to God for protection. David later recorded in a psalm how he turned to God in prayer when his enemies conspired against him: “Give ear to my prayer, O God; and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, because of the voice of the enemy, because of the pressure of the wicked; for they bring down trouble upon me and in anger they bear a grudge against me.” (Ps. 55:1-3). “Deliver me from all my transgressions; make me not the reproach of the foolish. I have become mute, I do not open my mouth, because it is You who have done it.” (Ps. 39:8-9). “Let them curse, but You bless; when they arise, they shall be ashamed, but Your servant shall be glad.” (Ps. 109:28). Like David, will you seek God’s protection when others attack you?
God is the source of your salvation. David wanted God to also encourage him with the promise that His protection also extended to his soul: “say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’” (Ps. 35:3). “David needed to hear it again and again in his soul – that God was his salvation, and no one else. David was not his own salvation; God reminded his soul, “I am your salvation.” . . . This statement suggests many aspects of David’s assurance. · David had his doubts. · David was not content when he had his doubts. · David knew where to obtain full assurance. · David’s assurance had a divine source. · David’s assurance was deep and personal. · David’s assurance was present, not future.” (David Guzik on Psalm 35).2 Salvation is only possible through God: “Salvation belongs to the LORD; may Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah” (Ps. 3:8; 28:8). This is made possible through Jesus, the Lamb of God (Rev. 7:10; Jo. 3:16).
2. Justice: When You Do God’s Will, He Will be Just and Fair With You. Ps. 35:4-8.
David pleaded for God’s justice to prevail. Instead of fighting back against those who slandered and tried to destroy him, David pleaded with God for His justice to prevail: “4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life; let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me. 5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them on. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. 7 For they hid their net for me without cause; without cause they dug a pit for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him when he is unaware, and let the net which he hid catch him; let him fall into that very destruction.” (Ps. 35:4-8). Even though David pleaded for justice, he would need to be patient for God’s timing.
God is just and will judge evil. Because God is just, He will one day judge evil: “If I have sharpened My flashing sword, and My hand has taken hold of justice, I will return vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me.” (Dt. 32:41; Is. 5:16; Job 36:6). “He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the LORD.” (Ps. 33:5). “For the LORD loves justice and does not forsake His godly ones; they are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.” (Ps. 37:28). “The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.” (Is. 33:5). Among your many reasons to praise God, you can give thanks that He will avenge any wrong against you in His timing.
Have faith that Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness and one day judge evil. God promised that David’s line would lead to the Messiah, who would reign with eternal justice and righteousness and judge evil: “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”’ (Jer. 23:5-6). “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.” (Is. 9:6-7). “A throne will even be established in lovingkindness, and a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David; moreover, he will seek justice and be prompt in righteousness.” (Is. 16:5). Jesus was born into the line of David (Matt. 1:1). He came to fulfill God’s covenant with David as the eternal King of Kings (Lk. 1:32-33; Rev. 19:16). You can also give thanks that you will forever live under His righteous reign.
Take God’s warnings about slander seriously. God warns believers not to slander others: “You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people; and you are not to jeopardize the life of your neighbor. I am the LORD.” (Lev. 19:16; Ex. 23:7) “‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.’” (Lev. 19:11; Ex. 23:1-2). Lying is so offensive to God that it violates the Ninth Commandment (Ex. 20:16; Dt. 5:20). Lies are also one of the sins that God “hates.” “There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: . . . a lying tongue, and . . . a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.” (Prov. 6:16-19). “Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” (Prov. 22:22). Satan is the father of all liars. When you lie, you are under his influence: “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father . . . Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (Jo. 8:44). Thus, no matter what the reason, you should never resort to lies or slander. Small lies can ultimately lead to more damaging ones. Ultimately, they grow into judgment. If you have slandered others, restore your victims and confess your sins.
Unrepentant sinners will reap what they sow. David warned his enemies that they could bear the consequences of their actions (Ps. 7:15-16). The warning that a person reaps what he or she sows is also repeated throughout the Bible: “You have plowed wickedness, you have harvested injustice, you have eaten the fruit of lies.” (Hos. 10:13a). “One who sows injustice will reap disaster, and the rod of his fury will perish.” (Prov. 22:8). “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a person sows, this he will also reap.” (Gal. 6:7). But God’s timing is not always our timing. Thus, you should never interpret the absence of an immediate consequence for a sin to assume that God does not care. God frequently delays punishment to give sinners the chance to repent.
Jesus will return to judge those who reject His mercy and grace. For those who reject Jesus’ mercy and grace, Jesus will judge them according to their deeds: “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.” (Matt. 16:27). “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” (Rev. 22:12). “I will give to each one of you according to your deeds.” (Rev. 2:23b). Thus, nonbelievers should not treat the promise of Jesus’ justice with indifference.
Fear God by hating all forms of lies. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Prov. 9:10; Ps. 111:10). Fearing God includes turning away from evil: “And to mankind He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to turn away from evil is understanding.”’ (Job 28:28). If you want to be wise, avoid all lies.
3. Sovereignty: When You Do God’s Will, His Plans Cannot Be Thwarted. Ps. 35:9-10.
David’s confidence in God’s power. Instead of trying to right the wrongs against him, David had confidence in God’s sovereign power to deliver him from evil: “9 So my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation. 10 All my bones will say, ‘Lord, who is like You, who rescues the afflicted from one who is too strong for him, and the afflicted and the poor from one who robs him?’” (Ps. 35:9-10). David did not merely seek to hide under God’s shield. He also trusted that God would deliver him.
No enemy can withstand God’s ability to deliver. In terms of God’s power to deliver, David stated: “‘Lord, who is like You, . . .” (Ps. 35:10). In his song of deliverance, Moses made a similar claim: “Who is like You among the gods, LORD? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). When you are doing God’s will, you never need to fear evil: “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Ps. 118:6). “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Ro. 8:31). Do you trust in God’s power or your own?
God’s power of deliverance includes slander. Slander was one of the many forms of attacks that David gave over to God: “A Psalm of David. In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be ashamed; in Your righteousness deliver me . . . Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. Let the lying lips be mute, which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt.” (Ps. 31:1, 17-18). “Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.” (Ps. 120:2). If you are being slandered, let God defend you.
Praise God for His deliverance. As our example, David always praised God for his deliverance: “So my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.” (Ps. 35:9). “I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.” (Ps. 144:9-10). “He rescues me from my enemies; You indeed lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from a violent man . . . He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:48, 50; 2 Sam. 22:51). “O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.” (Ps. 140:7). “The LORD is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed.” (Ps. 22:8). “Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your words.” (Ps. 119:161). “Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, yet I do not turn aside from Your testimonies.” (Ps. 119:157). “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim. 4:18). When God delivers you, do you also give Him the full credit?
4. Exaltation: When You Do God’s Will in Humility, He Will Exalt You. Ps. 35:11-14.
David was humbled and sad that this enemies repaid his good with evil. Even when David did God’s will, he was met with slander. All he could do was cry out to God: “11 Malicious witnesses rise up; they ask me things that I do not know. 12 They repay me evil for good, to the bereavement of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, but my prayer kept returning to me. 14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother; I bowed down in mourning, like one who mourns for a mother.” (Ps. 35:11-14). Although David would commit many sins, he was attacked here for doing God’s will (Ps. 35:12). “And those who repay evil for good, they become my enemies, because I follow what is good.” (Ps. 38:20). “So they have repaid me evil for good, and hatred for my love.” (Ps. 109:5).
Turn to God when you are slandered and hurt. David frequently felt great sorrow because others slandered him. Yet, instead of fighting back, he turned to God in humility for deliverance: “Do not turn me over to the desire of my enemies, for false witnesses have risen against me, and the violent witness.” (Ps. 27:12; 69:4). He also turned to God to find relief from his sorrows: “4 My heart is in anguish within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, ‘Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 ‘Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah. 8 I would hasten to my place of refuge from the stormy wind and tempest.’” (Ps. 55:4-8). When others say hurtful things against you, depend upon God to ease your sorrows.
Don’t fight evil with evil. It is easy to cry out to God when you are guilty. It is harder to surrender your right to fight back when you are innocent. This requires that you surrender your pride. God never wants you to respond to evil with evil (1 Pet. 3:9).
Show love to your attackers and let God avenge you. Because David responded to Saul’s attacks with love, Saul later repented (1 Sam. 24:17). When Shimei publicly cursed and slandered David (2 Sam. 16:5-6), David showed Shimei forgiveness in the hope that God would also forgive and restore him (2 Sam. 16:12). Shimei later repented of his sins, and David forgave him (2 Sam. 19:16-23). Jesus also encourages you to love their enemies: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” (Matt. 5:44). God will then avenge you: “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Ro. 12:20). When you are slandered, respond to your attacker with love and forgiveness.
Allow God to mold you through humility. God picked David to be a shepherd over Israel because of his training as a lowly shepherd (2 Sam. 7:8). He then molded David through years of suffering in the wilderness while he fled from Saul. God then molded David to remove the sinful desires and pride that allowed him to commit adultery and murder. David later celebrated how God refined and molded both him and all of Israel through their many trials. “For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined.” (Ps. 66:10). David further learned that God’s testing would continue until He removed David’s iniquity: “You have tried my heart; You have visited me by night; You have tested me and You find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.” (Ps. 17:3). Will you praise God for humbling you and then molding you?
Be patient for God’s timing. David lamented “my prayer kept returning to me” even though he “humbled” himself “with fasting” (Ps. 35:13). God would answer David’s prayers. But He would do so in His timing. God also wants you to be patient as He molds you: “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.” (Ps. 37:7). “I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1(b)). “I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” (Ps. 130:5). When your prayers are not immediately answered, wait for God’s perfect timing.
If you suffer for God, He will bless you. David suffered for doing God’s will. Jesus promises that He will bless you when others insult you or persecute for doing His will: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:11-12). “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, and of God, rests upon you.” (1 Pet. 4:14). As a believer, you are appointed to suffer for Jesus: “For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer on His behalf,” (Phil. 1:29). If you turn to Jesus when you suffer, He will bless you with the gift of perseverance: “And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;” (Rev. 5:3).
God will exalt you when you are humbled for Him. David was humbled for doing what was right, and God would eventually exalt him. If you humble yourself, God will one day exalt you as well: “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12; Lk. 14:11). “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time,” (1 Pet. 5:6).
5. Comfort: When You Do God’s Will, He Will Comfort You. Ps. 35:15-22.
David pleaded with God for relief from the slander against him. David lamented because the slander he endured felt endless. Thus, he pleaded for God to end to his public humiliation: “15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; the afflicted people whom I did not know gathered together against me, they slandered me without ceasing. 16 Like godless jesters at a feast, they gnashed at me with their teeth. 17 Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, my only life from the lions. 18 I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among a mighty people. 19 Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over me; nor let those who hate me for no reason wink maliciously. 20 For they do not speak peace, but they devise deceitful words against those who are quiet in the land. 21 They opened their mouth wide against me; they said, ‘Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it!’ 22 You have seen it, Lord, do not keep silent; Lord, do not be far from me.” (Ps. 35:15-22). When David’s enemies said “‘Aha, aha! Our eyes have seen it!” they gloated in his downfall (Ps. 35:21). David was not a hero of the faith because he had nerves of steel. He was a hero of the faith because he turned to God. He sought God’s presence to persevere (Ps 35:22).
David was frequently the subject to public ridicule. David repeatedly complained to God that he felt public shame and isolation: “they slandered me without ceasing.” (Ps. 34:15b). “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Ps. 41:9). “You have removed my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an object of loathing to them; I am shut up and cannot go out.” (Ps. 88:8). “They have heard that I groan; there is no one to comfort me, all my enemies have heard of my disaster; they are joyful that You have done it. Oh, that You would bring the day which You have proclaimed, so that they will become like me.” (Lam. 1:21).
Job also lost the respect of everyone around him. Job also suffered public ridicule. Satan turned his wife against him (Job 2:9). Satan then also turned all of society against him (Job 30:10). “Mockers are certainly with me, and my eye gazes on their provocation . . . But He has made me a proverb among the people, and I am one at whom people spit.” (Job 17:2, 6). “All my associates loathe me, and those I love have turned against me. . . My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me. . . “He has removed my brothers far from me, and my acquaintances have completely turned away from me. All my associates loathe me, and those I love have turned against me.” (Job 19:9,13-14, 19). Satan then turned Job’s last friends against him: “4 I am a joke to my friends, the one who called on God and He answered him; the just and blameless man is a joke. 5 He who is at ease holds disaster in contempt, as prepared for those whose feet slip.” (Job 12:4-5).
Jesus was also mocked and ridiculed. Jesus was also repeatedly mocked. For example, He was mocked when He stated that a girl believed to be dead was only asleep before He healed her (Matt. 9:24; Mk. 5:40). The soldiers also mocked Jesus when they beat Him (Matt. 27:29). The chief priests mocked Him as well (Matt. 27:41). He received the mocking and ridicule that every person deserves because of their sins.
Praise God for the comfort that He offers during your times of distress. As a man of faith, David repeatedly turned to God whenever he was in need of comfort (Ps. 30:8). “May You increase my greatness and turn to comfort me.” (Ps. 71:21). “Show me a sign of good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed, because You, LORD, have helped me and comforted me.” (Ps. 86:17). You can also praise God because He is always ready to shower you with compassion and love: “Shout for joy, you heavens! And rejoice, you earth! Break forth into joyful shouting, mountains! For the LORD has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted.” (Is. 49:13).
Jesus offers you comfort when you turn to Him. When you suffer, you can always turn to Jesus for comfort: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1 Cor. 1:3-4). He restores you when you feel sad: “But You, LORD, are a shield around me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “A Psalm of David. I will exalt You, LORD, for You have lifted me up, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.” (Ps. 30:1). “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” (Lk. 21:28). When others around you are in pain, Jesus also wants you to share with them the same “comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” (1 Cor. 1:4). Are you showing the comfort that Jesus has shown you to those around you who are in need?
6. Deliverance: When You Do God’s Will, He Will Deliver You. Ps. 35:23-26.
David cried out for God to deliver him. As a man of faith, David turned to God for deliverance: “23 Stir Yourself, and awake to my right and to my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Judge me, Lord my God, according to Your righteousness, and do not let them rejoice over me. 25 Do not let them say in their heart, ‘Aha, our desire!’ Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed him up!’ 26 May those be ashamed and altogether humiliated who rejoice at my distress; may those who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and dishonor.” (Ps. 35:23-26). David had confidence in God’s promises to him. Thus, David prayed that God would thwart the enemy’s evil plans against him.
David repeatedly cried out to God for deliverance. Whenever he was under attack, David cried out for God to deliver him: “Arise, LORD; save me, my God! For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.” (Ps. 3:7). “Return, LORD, rescue my soul; save me because of Your mercy.” (Ps. 6:4). “Arise, Lord, in Your anger; raise Yourself against the rage of my enemies, and stir Yourself for me; You have ordered judgment.” (Ps. 7:6). “Be gracious to me, LORD; see my oppression from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death,” (Ps. 9:13). “Arise, LORD, confront him, make him bow down; save my soul from the wicked with Your sword,” (Ps. 17:13). “O my God, in You I trust, do not let me be ashamed; do not let my enemies exult over me. . . Look at my enemies, for they are many, and they hate me with violent hatred.” (Ps. 25:2, 19). “Wake Yourself up, why do You sleep, Lord? Awake, do not reject us forever.” (Ps. 44:23). “God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; break out the fangs of the young lions, LORD.” (Ps. 58:6). “For no guilt of mine, they run and take their stand against me. Stir Yourself to help me, and see!” (Ps. 59:4). “O give us help against the adversary, for deliverance by man is in vain.” (Ps. 60:11). If you need deliverance, cry out to God and trust in His deliverance.
7. Restoration: When You Do God’s Will, He Will Restore You. Ps. 35:27-28.
David gave thanks for God’s vindication. Because he was confident in his faith, David praised God for His promised vindication: “27 May those shout for joy and rejoice, who take delight in my vindication; and may they say continually, ‘The Lord be exalted, who delights in the prosperity of His servant.” 28 And my tongue shall proclaim Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.’” (Ps. 35:27-28). David knew that God would ultimately keep His covenant with David. Out of faith, David praised God because He knew that God would be faithful to keep His promises to him (2 Sam. 7).
Depend upon God to give you victory when others heap shame on you. When others slandered him, David trusted God to restore his honor: “And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, and I will offer sacrifices in His tent with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.” (Ps. 27:6). “He rescues me from my enemies; You indeed lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from a violent man.” (Ps. 18:48). When David felt shame, he praised God as “the One who lifts my head.” (Ps. 3:3). “Therefore He will lift up his head.” (Ps. 110:7b). If you feel shame or others use your past sins against you, depend upon God for your restoration.
Even when David was unfaithful, God remained faithful. David could not boast in God’s deliverance. David’s murder and adultery should have disqualified him from having God answer his prayers (Is. 1:15; Jo. 9:31). Yet, out of grace, God was faithful to keep His Covenant with David: “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;” (Dt. 7:9). If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He will also keep His many promises to you. This is true even when you are unfaithful to Him: “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13). “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.” (1 Thess. 5:24). Have you given thanks for His faithfulness to you?
Praise God for His deliverance. As our example, David always gave all the credit back to God when he was victorious: “I will give thanks to the Lord according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.” (Ps. 7:17). “For You have maintained my just cause; You have sat on the throne judging righteously.” (Ps. 9:4). “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.” (Ps. 32:11). “I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.” (Ps. 144:9-10). “He rescues me from my enemies; You indeed lift me above those who rise up against me; You rescue me from a violent man . . . He gives great deliverance to His king, and shows lovingkindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever.” (Ps. 18:48, 50; 2 Sam. 22:51). “O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle.” (Ps. 140:7). “The LORD is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed.” (Ps. 22:8). “Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of Your words.” (Ps. 119:161). “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim. 4:18). When God delivers you, do you also give Him the credit?