Text: “Plead my cause, O Lord (Jehovah), with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.”
Good morning, persecuted Christian! This is a day of anti-Christian apostasy and continued, and increasing, persecution of those of us who are Spiritually regenerate, Bible-believing, Christian followers of the Living Lord Jesus Christ. Fact.
In an earlier Bible Lesson in this Searching In Psalms series I wrote: “As we witness ‘the falling away’ of the professing Christian church, we can clearly see how today’s outward professing church has been smitten, as it were, with a plague of flattering hypocrisy!
"True Christians, including my humble self, can become very cynical in the midst of such an apostate plague. Perhaps our cynicism is a healthy one? We must be very alert in this increasingly apostate age. All these signs are being fulfilled daily!
Perilous Times: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (2 Timothy 3:1) Pakistan. Vietnam. China. Nigeria. The Sudan. India. Burma. Iran. These nations are imprisoning, persecuting, and even burning believers in their church buildings and in their homes DAILY - and we hear little fuss about it on the international news channels! Please pay particular attention to these prophesied facts, Christian friend.” (Searching in the Psalms, 2. A Plague of Flattering Hypocrisy! Psalm 12:2, Dr C.K. McClinton)
With the facts of these anti-Christian persecutions clearly in view, Psalm 35 becomes even more relevant to any Christian believer who, at this crucial time in the prophetic history of God’s dealings with mankind, feels under such pressures, and in desperate need of Divine help and Spiritual support.
“Title: ‘A Psalm of David.’ Here is all we know concerning this Psalm, but internal evidence seems to fix the date of its composition in those troublous times when Saul hunted David over hill and dale and when those who fawned upon the cruel king slandered the innocent object of his wrath, or it may be referred to the unquiet days of frequent insurrections in David’s old age. The whole Psalm is the appeal to Heaven of a bold heart and a clear conscience irritated beyond measure by oppression and malice. Beyond a doubt, David’s Lord may be seen here by the Spiritual eye.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 169)
When beset by such cruel, unjust, persecutions, slander, and ill-treatment, Psalm 35 can be offered up by the clear-conscienced Christian as his/her personal plea to God for a prompt and Divine ‘confounding’ of our anti-Christian enemies.
“Bonar entitles this Psalm, ‘The awful utterance of the Righteous One regarding those that hate Him without cause’; and he makes the following remarks thereupon: ‘On that day when their views of justice shall be far clearer and fuller than now, we shall be able to understand how Samuel could hew Agag in pieces and the godly hosts of Israel slay utterly in Canaan man and woman and child, at God’s command. We shall be able, not only to agree in the doom, ‘Let them be confounded,’ etc., but even to sing, ‘Amen, Hallelujah,’ over the smoke of torment (Revelation 19:1-2).” (Treasury of David, page 169)
What is contained within the God-breathed Scriptures – Old Testament and New – should be what informs our conscience, not popular trends, and the shifting moral standards of international worldly opinion. God’s Word alone is TRUTH.
“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Verse 1. “Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me. Doth the world condemn thee for thy zeal in the service of God? Reproachfully scorn thee for thy care to maintain good works? Not blush to traduce thee with imputations of preciseness, conceited singularity, Pharisaical hypocrisy? Oh but if thy conscience condemns thee not all this while, if that be rectified by the sacred Word of God, if thou aim at His glory in pursuing thine own Salvation, and side not with the disturbers of the church, go on, good Christian, in the practice of piety, discourage not thyself in thy laudable endeavours, but recount with comfort that the Lord is thy Judge (1 Cor. 4:4).” (Isaac Craven’s Sermon at Paul’s Cross, 1630)
Verse 1. “…Fight against them that fight against me. ‘My enemies are much too powerful for me, Lord, please fight against them with Thy Almighty power. Confound Thine enemies, oh Lord!’ This is a prayerful plea that all who seek to forthrightly serve the risen Christ must constantly pray.
“Not by my power or by my might, but by Thy Spirit, O Lord of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6) (my paraphrase)
Verse 3. “Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, ‘I am thy Salvation.’” Sincere, Bible-believing Christians are called by God to ‘…put on the whole armour of God…’, but we are not to try to fight Spiritual battles in our own power or strength, or wisdom. The Battle is not ours, but God’s, and it is God that does the actual ‘fighting’, and it is the Lord God Who assures us, therefore, of complete and utter Victory – in Christ Jesus. Hallelujah! In Christ, we are invincible! Glory, all glory to the Victorious Lamb, Christ Jesus!
Thought: In times of increased persecution of Christian Bible-believers – let us increase our prayerful petitions to the Lord for His Almighty and All-powerful help? We already have the full Victory through the Cross of Christ.