Devotional · Hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – Ps 35 – K

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.

Psalm 35
26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether who rejoice at my calamity! Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor who magnify themselves against me!
27 Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.

In our last post on this marvelous psalm, we came away with David’s plea for vindication, based not simply on his own blamelessness, but on the righteousness of God.

We spoke of the difference of vindication and vengeance, and reminded the reader that vindication is an overturning of a false conviction, of a clearing of his name, of regaining a good reputation.

In our closing verses above, David pulls back on his requests for active judgement from the Lord, and requests the passive allowance of God, that of letting his enemies fall into their own traps. David often draws on this type of request. A fuller discussion on it may be found in a previous post on this psalm (Psalms for Psome – Ps 35 – B)

In our verses considered this morning, David is summing up his prayer. He asked the Lord to allow his enemies to fall into their own trap, then in verses 22-24, boldly looked to the Lord for active deliverance from his enemies, in the form of vindicating his own actions. The truth will be established, even within his enemies hearts.

The result of this vindication of David is shame upon the enemies

Let them be put to shame and disappointed …

Shame and disappointment are often found together in the Word. As a matter of fact, the root word used here for disappointed is translated as ashamed or shame occasionally in the Old Testament, and is used to describe embarrassment. If I understand this phrase right, he is asking the Lord to allow his enemies to be put to shame and experience humiliation, embarrassment.

My friends, no one enjoys experiencing humiliation. To be humbled by forces beyond our control, by others that bring secrets to light, bringing shame into our lives is a horrible experience, cutting to the very soul. And yet, self humiliation is exalted in the Word. Self humiliation brings forgiveness.

Consider the humbling of Manasseh

Manasseh led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, to do more evil than the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the people of Israel. – 2Ch 33:9
He (Manasseh) prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God. – 2Ch 33:13
And he (Amon – Manasseh’s son) did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, as Manasseh his father had done. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them. – 2Ch 33:22
And he did not humble himself before the LORD, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself, but this Amon incurred guilt more and more. – 2Ch 33:23

David is seeking for his enemies to experience a humiliation, a reckoning with truth. Earlier in this psalm, David looked for his enemies to experience truth in their hearts. Now he is looking to have his enemies experience disappointment in their plans for him, for the truth to come out and all to see the evil that has been perpetrated on David.

Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor …

I think David returns to the shame, dishonor and disappointment he prayed of earlier.

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! – Psa 35:4

In our verse this morning he speaks of his enemies being clothed in shame and dishonor.

When you hear the term “be clothed”, what comes to mind?

I am not a “clothes” horse, as I would rather wear a raggedy pair of work pants and an old t-shirt, something that I “cloth” myself in. I value the appearance of being average, or even poor, and consider myself an ordinary fellow, one who tries not to put on airs. Nevertheless, at work I am sometimes called upon to wear a tie (ick), and even a suit jacket. (Say it isn’t so Carl.) This type of clothing does not “fit” me, and I feel out of place as I wear it. My internal person and outward expression are at odds with each other.

David is looking for these opponents to be clothed in shame and dishonor.

These enemies are to experience the shame, and not simply internally, without any of their peers knowing. These enemies are to be seen as “shamed” ones, men who are openly disappointed in their plans of wickedness and lies. They are to be put to shame, and also to be fully exposed to all of their shamefulness.

David is looking for their internal person and their outward expression is be the same.

David’s enemies did not delight in his righteousness. They sought to tear it down, to destroy it. They will experience shame, dishonor and disappointment

David’s fellows, those who delight in his righteousness, will shout for joy, and attribute to God the salvation of His servant. David also shall tell of God’s righteousness, and praise Him.

As we close on this psalm, let us consider on additional question.

Who is speaking in verse 27? Of course David wrote this verse, but throughout the psalm he appeals to his blamelessness, and God’s righteousness. Three verses refer to righteousness in this psalm.

Vindicate me, O LORD, my God, according to your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me! – Psalm 35:24
Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” – Psalm 35:27
Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long. – Psalm 35:28

Verse 24, David appeals to God’s righteousness. Verse 28, David again speaks of telling others of God’s righteousness.

Verse 27 contains the quandary. Is this the Lord speaking of His own righteousness through the Psalmist? Is this the Lord taking possession of this prayer and interjecting his own instruction? As if God is instructing those who delight in His righteousness to shout for joy. To say forever – Great is the LORD.

No other verse in this psalm refers to David as being righteous, only blameless. and as we saw earlier in a previous post, their is a difference.

He is righteous, totally balanced in all His wonderful attributes, without any inner conflict or external contradictions within His person

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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