Ep.087: Psalm 35: Brandish Your Spear, God.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

In Psalm 35, the poet asks God to punish his enemies. He suggests that God should:
– Brandish spear and javelin against them (v. 3)
– Turn them back in dismay (v. 5)
– Clothe them with shame and disgrace and confusion (v. 26)
– Make their path dark and slippery while an angel of the Lord chases them (v. 6)
That’s an ominous list of curses. I don’t want this poet as my enemy! 

The psalm suggests the poet’s enemies are pursuing false legal claims against him. He says he tried to help his accusers–when they were sick, he wept over their distress (v.14). He fasted and prayed for their healing (v. 13). So much for gratitude–his enemies did not respond in kind. So now the poet is in trouble, his enemies gather gleefully (v. 15), they slander and mock and gloat (vv. 15,-16, 19). They invent false accusations (v. 20). They hate without reason, they sneer and crow (vv. 19, 21) and repay evil for good (v. 12).

In verse 17, the poet calls on God to take action saying, 
  How long, Lord, will you look on?
      Rescue me from their ravages,
      My precious life from these lions. 
The poet says, “The lions attack me, God. Rescue me from their jaws.”

If God does this, the poet promises:
    I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
      among the throngs I will praise you (v. 17).
    My tongue will proclaim your righteousness, and
      your praises all day long (v. 28).  

Let’s pray. adopting the poet’s worldview and language for our prayer today.. 

Lord, bring shame and disgrace on those who gouge insurance companies to profit illegally. Like the man who needlessly hit his brakes so my relative would rear end him, doing almost no damage to the vehicle but enabling a $20,000 payout. 

Lord, bring shame and disgrace to insurance companies and their lawyers who reject legitimate claims from poor people who can’t afford to fight.

Lord, bring shame and disgrace to politicians who game the system for personal benefit instead of promoting the common good. Bring shame and disgrace to citizens who complain endlessly about the politicians but don’t vote or participate.  

Lord, bring shame and disgrace to those who profit from soul-destroying businesses like gambling and pornography and drug addiction and violence. Rescue their victims. 

Lord, bring shame and disgrace to those who return evil for good: to managers who lord it over employees, to parents who abandon spouse and children, to lovers who violate trust and betray confidences. 

Lord, bring shame and disgrace on the promoters of injustice and violence in the world and in our personal lives. Hide us and protect us in the powerful name of Jesus, from divisive politics, rampant consumerism, oppression of the poor, and religious hypocrisy. 

And Lord, as you rescue us and our world, we will give you thanks and praise. We will say with the poet, 
     The Lord be exalted,
         he who delights in the well-being of his servant.
     We will proclaim your righteousness,
         your praises all day long. (vv. 27-28).

Amen.

I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.        

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