Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 35 – B

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Let’s return to Psalm 35 and continue in David’s prayers

4 Let them be put to shame and dishonor who seek after my life! Let them be turned back and disappointed who devise evil against me!
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the LORD driving them away!
6 Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them!

As I have been ruminating over these three verses a concept comes up that I would offer the reader. David is looking for the Lord to “let” his enemies be put to shame and dishonor. To “let” them be like chaff and to “let” their way be dark and slippery.

Would it be correct to see David’s prayer here as a prayer of allowance, that is of letting those who are laying traps for David to fall into their own traps. His prayer is that the Lord is to drive them away, and pursue them, and we will consider that a bit later, yet a few moments on the concept of the lost being caught up in their own devices against the Lord’s people.

Consider the following passages.

Let their own table before them become a snare; and when they are at peace, let it become a trap. – Psalm 69:22 ESV

The nations have sunk in the pit that they made; in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught. – Psalm 9:15 ESV

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. – Psalm 10:2 ESV

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor; let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised. – Psalm 10:2 ESV

Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way will fall into his own pit, but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance. – Proverbs 28:10 ESV

A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet. – Proverbs 29:5 ESV

He who digs a pit will fall into it, and a serpent will bite him who breaks through a wall. – Ecclesiastes 10:8 ESV

There are actually many more passage that speak of the devices of the wicked planned for the saint to turn back onto the wicked. (As a matter of fact, our next post will find this principle again in verse 8!)

The Scripture also gives numerous examples of this principle. The first example that comes to mind of this deliverance is of course the story of Esther and how the schemes of Haman were turned upon himself.

A proud man utterly humbled by honoring the very man he hates most. A ruler of nations that had the power of life and death, himself hung on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai, the believer. Take note also that not only was Haman’s fortunes turned on him, so were Mordecai’s, in that he was lifted up to great heights.

Or consider the eleven sons of Jacob and their turning Joseph over to slave traders. The brothers went from being seemingly in control over Joseph, to becoming totally dependent on the mercy of Joseph.

I can’t keep bringing examples since I do want to consider verse 5 and 6, but as we meditate on the deliverance of the Lord in our lives, lets consider the wonder of the Lord’s ways. The wicked sin against the Lord in plotting against the believer, and the sin itself becomes the very judgement they fall into.

A word of caution for those believers who may think this does not apply to their own lives since they are “positionally” on the Lord’s side, this last example of Jacobs sons shows that to be in covenant with the Lord of Glory does not remove us from this very same principle. (For those interested in this topic, consider the post The Lord’s Enemy.)

Let’s consider verse 5 and 6

Oh to think like a Hebrew. The pictures found in the psalms, as we take a few minutes out of our busy day, are so graphic and so alarming.

Consider the precarious spot David is seeking for the enemy.

Chaff in the wind. The very purpose of the wind when winnowing the harvest was to carry the chaff away. The chaff had no power of resistance over the wind.

Their way to be dark and slippery. Given that David’s request is for his enemy to be powerless against the circumstances he is in (chaff in the wind) , he is also asking that they have no knowledge or understanding of their condition, neither any ability to resist their falling into their trap.

In the midst of this self destruction, David is asking that the angel of the Lord drive them away, and to pursue them. To “drive” is to push, to push violently, to be thrust down. To “pursue” is to run after, to chase after. The term is sometimes translated as to harass or to persecute!

Not only is David requesting to Lord to allow the enemy to fall into his own wicked devices, but he is requesting that the Lord ensure this result. He is praying that the Lord push the enemy down, and to chase after him, as a victorious general would ensure a victory over the defeated enemy.

David is a military man, a man of blood and was a strategic fighter. He did not waver in his passion for the victory of the God of Israel, and his prayers were reflective of his zeal.

Let me encourage those reading that passion in prayer is often found in the Word and may need to be found in our lives. A prayer of recitation without personal involvement may be simply words bouncing off the ceiling at times. May our prayers, as we go through our days of pilgrimage, exhibit a greater passion and desire to see God get greater victories in our lives and the lives we touch.

May God bless you as you seek to follow after Him.


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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