The most righteous men and the most righteous causes may expect to meet with many mighty and malicious enemies.
The safest place to leave a righteous cause is with the righteous God who is able to give judgment upon it in the right way and at the right time.
If God is our friend, it does not matter who our enemies are.
1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him?
11 False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not.
12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom.
14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.
15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not:
16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth.
17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.
18 I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people.
19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
22 This thou hast seen, O LORD: keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me.
23 Stir up thyself, and awake to my judgment, even unto my cause, my God and my Lord.
24 Judge me, O LORD my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.
25 Let them not say in their hearts, Ah, so would we have it: let them not say, We have swallowed him up.
26 Let them be ashamed and brought to confusion together that rejoice at mine hurt: let them be clothed with shame and dishonour that magnify themselves against me.
27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
28 And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 35:1-17 – Rescuing the Poor and Needy
This psalm dates from the Sauline persecution, or else from the disturbed condition of the kingdom in David’s later years. Each of the three divisions into which the psalm naturally falls ends with praise, Psalm 35:9, 18, 28.
Throughout the psalm we meet with strong imprecations on the wicked. The spirit of the New Testament inculcates a higher law of love and forgiveness, Luke 9:55-56. Therefore our Lord rebuked His Apostles when they called for fire from heaven. He said: “Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
What a thrill passes through the soul when God whispers the assurance, I am thy salvation! “Who is like unto thee?” Exodus 15:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 35:18-28 – An Appeal to the Righteous Judge
Psalm 35:20: “The Quiet in the Land” was the title adopted by holy men and women in Germany, during long dark days when religion was under an eclipse. It is beautifully appropriate to those whose life is “hid with Christ in God.” “We are in Him that is true,” Colossians 3:1-4; I John 5:20.
Psalm 35:24: Judge me, O LORD! What a comfort it is to appeal from the judgments of men to the bar of God! We know that the soul’s Advocate there will plead its cause with the eloquence of love. His interposition and vindication will clear us. God has seen! God will not keep silence! He is not far away!
Psalm 35:27-28: We desire that others should join us in praise. “One (seraphim) cried unto another” in Isaiah’s vision (Isaiah 6:2-3). There should be a holy emulation in thanksgiving. Oh, that the resolution of the psalmist might characterize us all; and that all our days might be full of praise, instead of the constant murmuring and complaining which are so rife even among God’s children! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 35:20—Them that are quiet in the land.
A significant title for the saints, which has been adopted at least by one great religious body. In every age God has had his quiet ones. Retired from its noise and strife, withdrawn from its ambitions and jealousies, unshaken by its alarms; because they had entered into the secret of a life hidden in God. We must have an outlet for the energies of our nature. If we are unfamiliar with the hidden depths of eternal life, we shall necessarily live a busy, fussy, frothy, ambitious, eager life, in contact with men and things. But the man who is intense on the eternal, can be quiet in the temporal.
The man whose house is shallow, but one room in depth, cannot help living on the street. But directly we begin to dwell deep—deep in God, deep in the watch for the Master’s advent, deep in considering the mysteries of the kingdom, we become quiet. We fill our little space; we get our daily bread and are content; we enjoy natural and simple pleasures; we do not strive, nor cry, nor cause our voice to be heard in the street; we pass through the world, with noiseless tread, dropping a blessing on all we meet; but we are no sooner recognized than we are gone.
Get quiet, beloved soul; tell out thy sorrow and complaint to God. Let not the greatest business or pressure divert thee from God. When men rage about thee, go and tell Jesus. When storms are high, hide thee in his secret place. When others compete for fame and applause, and their passion might infect thee, get into thy closet, and shut thy door, and quiet thyself as a weaned babe. For if thy voice is quiet to man, let it never cease to speak loudly and mightily for man in the ear of God. Oh to be a Quietist in the best sense! —Our Daily Homily