Observe: David asks God to plead his cause (‘contend’ -- literally “litigate” as if in a court of law (1)). God, though, is not a lawyer but an armed warrior carrying ‘shield and buckler’. He reminds David I am your salvation (3).
In verses 4-8, he prays for the destruction of his enemies, -- no political correctness here! – that the trap they’ve laid for David will become their own trap (8). And then? … my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in His salvation. All my bones shall say, “LORD, who is like You, Delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, Yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” (9,10) Praise in acknowledgement of God’s ‘hesed’, His mercy to the weak and vulnerable, alternate with his pleas.
The slander against David in verses 11-12 foreshadows the humiliation Jesus endures in His trial and death. David (and Jesus) pray for and care about the enemy (13-14; Lk 23:34,43). And repayment? By evil for good (11c), and David seeks God’s vindication for unjust suffering (15-21), pleading, Do not keep silence. O Lord, do not be far from me. (22)… vindicate... according to Your righteousness (24). He will soon praise God for deliverance (18).
Knowing the enemy is vanquished (25,26), David invites God’s people to rejoice and praise God for his deliverance (27). Praise is his final word (28).
Interpret: An “imprecatory” Psalm where David pleads with God to destroy his enemies. The armour of God in this Psalm: the warrior’s small shield (magen) and ‘buckler’, a large rectangular shield (sinneh) carried by an arms-bearer, defend and protect the warrior who carries his own sword and javelin to attack at close and further range.
Strange to think of our mighty God wearing armour, but in Isaiah 59:17 he does just that: … He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head; He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak. No human could lead rebellious Israel back to God. So, armed, God himself sets out to destroy His enemies and save His people -- as Faithful and True, sword-wielding King Jesus saves us (Rev 19).
Apply: So we too put on the whole armour of God (Eph. 6:11). It’s war out there, literally and spiritually, not against flesh and blood (Eph. 6:12) but very real spiritual powers, and we need all God’s help, as did David. But, If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom 8:31) Good question.
The armour in Ephesians 6:13-18 is His very real help in temptation, for our spiritual safety. He is our arms-bearer, our strength and shield as we go into battle each day against whatever the enemy throws at us – proving again that God alone vindicates.
Watch (often!) the beautiful and powerful “Armour of God” in our Prayer Videos, a visual reminder of His provision for our battles.
Ask: What pieces of God’s armour have I used significantly in my life? Do I wear them daily against the evil one’s lies?
Pray: Lord, You give me all I need to fight my daily battles, and I give you all I am with thankfulness. May I always know that You graciously protect, defend and hold me fast -- in Your arms.
Sing Psalm 35: Psalms Project - Awake, O Lord
Karl Kohlhase - I Am Your Deliverance
Here Be Lions - I Speak Jesus
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.