Psalm 35 Strive, LORD, with those that strive with me - Fighting Prayer
I had a very hard time singing this psalm. I have never prayed like this, with one possible exception: In the 2016 U.S. election, I prayed similar verses from other psalms for the Lord to stop the wicked and the lies, whoever might be doing them.
"Jesus explicity utilizes this psalm, identifying with the position of the suppliant (John 15:25
). In contrast, modern commentators are routinely uncomfortable with the psalm. ... Strangely, Jesus was apparently not embarrassed by the psalm and gives no hint of seeing himself as having superseded it, suggesting that once again this is a problem about us as interpreters of the psalm. .. Nor is praying for one's enemies Christian as opposed to Jewish." - Psalms
by John Goldingay
This psalm is composed 3 equal sections each ending with praise:
vv 1-10 Prayer to cause my enemies who are pursuing me to fall into their own traps, ending with my individual rejoicing and awe.
vv 11-18 Recounting how they repaid my good toward them with evil and praying to save my soul from them, ending with thanking and praising in the assembly.
vv 19-28 Specific prayer for my enemies not to rejoice over me, ending with mutual rejoicing with my helpers.
The Hebrew word for strive seems to indicate verbal attacking as in much of this Psalm (vv 11
, 20 -21
). The Lord quoted this Psalm in Isa 49:25
saying that He would strive with those who strive with Jacob.
The Hebrew word for fight is very common, used 165 times. It means to fight as in a war (Exo 17:9
). The Lord fought for Israel during the Exodus (Exo 14:14, 25
David's prayer is for God to fight against those pursuing me as You fought against Pharoah's armies who were pursuing our forefathers.
How could we be sure that we are in the right to pray like this? Maybe I am in the wrong, or wrong in something, and I don't realize it.
If a person is saying lies about you that he knows are lies, as is the case in this psalm, we can pray like this. Jesus prayed, Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing (Luke 23:34
). Saul of Tarsus was shown mercy because he acted in ignorance (1Tim 1:13
). But what if they know what they are doing? That is different.
- I think I do not need to pray for God to rouse Himself to help me or the church, but that is not true. I need to pray like David.
This is a good prayer for God to say to my soul, I am your salvation. God's speaking to us is the most encouraging thing. In our trouble, we need to pray this.
Would I pray for the angel of the Lord to push people along with the wind? No, but I could if I pray this psalm. (Acts 12:23
Asaph quotes this verse when he is enlightened on what God is doing in the wonderful Psalm 73
As their way of life is dark and slippery, so let it be to them.
v7 - This is the first verse where David tells what his enemies have done. He gives this as the reason for God to answer his preceding prayer.
We need to give a reason too to God for praying what we pray. For example, now Nov, 2017, the Chinese communist government is persecuting Christians without a cause.
To hide their net in a pit is to do something in darkness, not in the light (John 3:19-21
This is justice. Be careful what we devise toward others as it will come back upon us (Ps 7:15;etc
- This is a test for our prayer. If God answers our prayer, will our soul rejoice in the Lord without our having to force it?
This is not to rejoice at our enemy's pain but in our salvation.
This is my favorite verse in the psalm. This is spontaneous and from our whole being.
This starts the second section of the psalm about the false witnesses against me and how I prayed for them. (Mat 26:60
- "to the bereavement of my soul" means it really hurt bad. This is because I loved them. We should allow it to grieve us when those whom we love hurt us.
To repay someone evil for good is a terrible thing in the sight of God (Prov 17:13
- "unto me" should be "unto my bosom"
This psalm is considered by many Christians as not up to the New Testament standard, but here we see praying for our enemies, fulfilling the sermon on the mount (Mat 5:44
There is a point, which I described in v1, when we might no longer pray for someone but pray to stop him instead (1John 5:16
- We should be careful not to be glad at someone else's pain (Prov 24:17-18
- To gnash your teeth against someone is extreme hatred especially because that person convicts you. Be careful not to gnash our teeth against others.(Ps 37:12; Lam 2:16; Acts 7:54
David's soul = "my only one" indicates David had no children at this time. Christ prays the same thing on the cross (Ps 22:20
- "the assembly" should be "the great assembly"
"a people" should be "a numerous people".
Like the previous verse, this is the same as Christ prayed in Psalm 22
This starts the 3rd and last section of this psalm.
- "quiet" should be "quiet in the land"
- "Judge me" should be "Judge me, O LORD, my God".
We should pray for the Lord to judge us by His righteousness. That will control our living.
- Steve Miller
copyright 11/12/2017 voiceInWilderness.info
Psalm 35 of David
(tune I found the One who's all to me 126.96.36.199. 188.8.131.52.)
1 Strive, LORD, with those - that strive with me.
Fight with those who fight with me.
Take hold of buckler and shield,
and rouse Thyself, my help to be.
To meet those who're pursuing me.
draw out spear and javelin
Do say unto my soul, weary.
" I, Myself, am your salvation."
Let them confound-ed be and shamed,
turned back be, that seek my soul
and brought to a confused state
that devise to - do me evil.
Like chaff before the wind be they;
angel of the LORD push too.
Slippery and - dark be their way,
and the LORD's an-gel them pursue.
For they for me without a cause
their net they hid in a pit,
and they have without a cause
to take my soul they have digged it.
Let ruin seize him unawares.
His net which he hid withal
himself let catch in his own snares.
In his destruction let him fall.
9 Rejoice shall my soul in the Lord,
in His sal-vation, glad be.
All my bones shall say, O Lord,
"Who is there that's like unto Thee,
Who frees the poor - from the too strong,
too strong for - poor and needy
from the man who's - doing him wrong?"
False witnesses rose against me.
They repaid my - good with evil
to bereave-ment of my soul.
11b They asked me - things I knew not,
but at their hurt I wore sackcloth.
I chastened my soul with fasting,
and my prayer to me returned.
14 I walked as though he were to me
as a neighbor or a brother.
I bowed down my-self very sad
as one mourns for a mother,
but at my - pain they were glad
and gathered them-selves together.
The sland'rers gath-ered against me,
all while I - was unknowing.
They did tear me without ceasing
with jokers at - feasts ungodly.
They're gnashing their teeth against me.
Lord, how long will You look on?
Save my soul from their ruining,
my only one from young lions.
I'll thank You in the assembly.
In a peo-ple I'll praise Thee.
Let not my wrong-ful enemies
rejoice with glad-ness over me.
Those that hate me without a cause,
Do not let - them wink the eye,
for they speak - not peace and raise
deceit 'gainst those who are quiet.
21 They opened their mouth wide 'gainst me,
Aha! Ha! Our eye has seen.
LORD, You've seen it. Keep not silent.
O my Lord, be - not far from me.
Stir up and wake for my judgment,
my God and Lord, for my case.
Judge me by Your righteousness,
and o'er me let them not rejoice.
25 Let them not say within their hearts,
Ha! This is how we like it.
Let them not say, Him we devoured.
26 Let them be shamed and confounded
that together rejoiced at my
hurt. Let them - be clothed with shame,
dishonor - that magnify
themselves against me to defame.
27 Who delight in my righteousness,
let them shout for joy, be glad,
and let them say continually,
The LORD Himself be magnified.
who delights in His servant's peace.
28 My tongue tell Your righteousness,
all the day, never to cease,
Your praise and thanksgiving confess.
Isaiah 49:25 For thus saith Jehovah: Even the captive of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; and I will strive with him that striveth with thee, and I will save thy children. (Isa 49:25 DBY)
Jeremiah 18:19 Jehovah, give heed to me, and listen to the voice of those that contend with me. (Jer 18:19 DBY)
Exodus 17:9 And Moses said to Joshua, Choose us men, and go out, fight with Amalek; to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand. (Exo 17:9 DBY)
Exodus 14:14 Jehovah will fight for you, and ye shall be still. (Exo 14:14 DBY)
25 And he took off their chariot wheels, and caused them to drive with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, Let us flee before Israel, for Jehovah is fighting for them against the Egyptians! (Exo 14:25 DBY)
John 15:25 But that the word written in their law might be fulfilled, They hated me without a cause. (Jn. 15:25 DBY)
;Psa 69:4 Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; Those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies, What I did not steal, I then have to restore.
Luke 23:34 But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. (Lk. 23:34 NAS)
1Tim 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. And yet I was shown mercy, because I acted ignorantly in unbelief; (1 Tim. 1:13 NAS)
Psa 40:14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together Who seek my life to destroy it; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
Psa 129:5 May all who hate Zion, Be put to shame and turned backward,
Psa 70:2 Let those be ashamed and humiliated Who seek my life; Let those be turned back and dishonored Who delight in my hurt.
;Psa 1:4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
;Psa 83:13 O my God, make them like the whirling dust; Like chaff before the wind.
Job 21:17 "How often is the lamp of the wicked put out, Or does their calamity fall on them? Does God apportion destruction in His anger?
18 "Are they as straw before the wind, And like chaff which the storm carries away?
;Isa 29:5 But the multitude of your enemies shall become like fine dust, And the multitude of the ruthless ones like the chaff which blows away; And it shall happen instantly, suddenly.
;Hos 13:3 Therefore, they will be like the morning cloud, And like dew which soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor, And like smoke from a chimney.
;Act 12:23 And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Jer 23:12 "Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I shall bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment," declares the LORD.
;Psa 73:18 Surely Thou dost set them in slippery places; Thou dost cast them down to destruction.
;Psa 7:15 He has dug a pit and hollowed it out, And has fallen into the hole which he made.
;Psa 9:15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they have made; In the net which they hid, their own foot has been caught.
;Psa 57:6 They have prepared a net for my steps; My soul is bowed down; They dug a pit before me; They themselves have fallen into the midst of it. Selah.
;Psa 141:10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, While I pass by safely.
;Mat 26:60 and they did not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward,
;Pro 17:13 He who returns evil for good, Evil will not depart from his house.
Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, (Matt. 5:44 ESV)
1John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this.
17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. (1 Jn. 5:16-17 NAS)
Prov 24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles;
18 Lest the LORD see it and be displeased, And He turn away His anger from him.
(Prov. 24:17-18 NAS)
Psa 37:12 The wicked plots against the righteous, And gnashes at him with his teeth.
Lam 2:16 All your enemies Have opened their mouths wide against you; They hiss and gnash their teeth. They say, "We have swallowed her up! Surely this is the day for which we waited; We have reached it, we have seen it."
Act 7:54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him.
Ps 22:11 Do not be far off from Me
because trouble is near me.
Because there is not a helper,
19 Do not be far, O LORD,
You who are My very strength.
To help Me do now make haste.
20 Do save My soul from the sword.
Out from the hand of the dog,
deliver My only one.
21 Save Me from the lion's mouth
and from horns of the high ones.
22 You have answered Me.
To My brothers,
I will expound Your name.
Inside of the assembly.
I'll sing hymns of praise to Thee.
;Psa 71:12 O God, do not be far from me; O my God, hasten to my help!
;Psa 38:21 Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, do not be far from me!
John 3:19 And this is the judgment, that light is come into the world, and men have loved darkness rather than light; for their works were evil.
20 For every one that does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light that his works may not be shewn as they are;
21 but he that practises the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they have been wrought in God.