Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
Psalm 35:1-16 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Prayer for Rescue from Enemies. A Psalm of David.
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
Fight against those who fight against me.
2 Take hold of buckler and shield
And rise up for my help.
3 Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me;
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
4 Let those be ashamed and dishonored who seek my life;
Let those be turned back and humiliated who devise evil against me.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
With the angel of the Lord driving them on.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
With the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
Without cause they dug a pit for my soul.
8 Let destruction come upon him unawares,
And let the net which he hid catch himself;
Into that very destruction let him fall.
9 And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord;
It shall exult in His salvation.
10 All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You,
Who delivers the afflicted from him who is too strong for him,
And the afflicted and the needy from him who robs him?”
11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
They ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good,
To the bereavement of my soul.
13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth;
I humbled my soul with fasting,
And my prayer kept returning to my bosom.
14 I went about as though it were my friend or brother;
I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.
15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together;
The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me,
They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like godless jesters at a feast,
They gnashed at me with their teeth.
Romans 8:31 says: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? The psalmist says: Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me. Take hold of buckler and shield And rise up for my help. Draw also the spear and the battle-axe to meet those who pursue me; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” There is a comfort, a sense of peace that comes in trusting the Lord to fight for us. The difficulty is in yielding entirely to Him, trusting not only the outcome but the entire process to Him. Often we say we give our cares to Him, only to take them back again. We become impatient, because God doesn’t move quickly enough for us. Because we cannot see the fullness of God’s plan and His timing, we think we need to do more to help God. Throughout scripture there are countless cases where God fought and secured the victory for His people. Often it looked like it was hopeless, that there was no way out. Yet God had a plan beyond human comprehension. He split the sea so His people could walk through on dry land, while the Egyptian army was consumed. (Exodus 14) It made no sense to march around the city for seven days, yet the walls of Jericho crumbled at the sound of a trumpet blast and the shout of God’s obedient people. (Joshua 6)
One of the keys to fully trusting God, with both the process and the outcome, is in what the psalmist says: Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” If we have fully trusted Him with our eternal salvation, then trusting Him with the things of this world is easier. In Psalm 118:6, the psalmist says: The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? Jesus says: “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) Proverbs 3:5-6 says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. When we align ourselves, our thoughts and our actions with the kingdom of God rather than the circumstances we face, when His will and His way becomes our priority and our desire, we can fully trust Him. In Isaiah 55:8-9 God says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.” God not only knows the outcome because He is omniscient. He is also eternal. He operates outside of time as we know it. Revelation 1:8 says: "I am the Alpha and the Omega--the beginning and the end," says the Lord God. "I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come--the Almighty One." God not only knows the outcome, He is already there! In Psalm 139:13-18 the psalmist says: You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You. There is peace and comfort in trusting the God of our salvation; the God of our creation.
The psalmist gives us more insight into what is required to fully trust in God, in all His ways. He says: They ask me of things that
I do not know. They repay me evil for good, To the bereavement of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, And my prayer kept returning to my bosom. I went about as though it were my friend or
brother; I bowed down mourning, as one who sorrows for a mother.
But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered themselves together; The smiters whom I did not know gathered together against me, They slandered me without ceasing. Like godless jesters at a feast, They gnashed at me with their teeth. Jesus says: “I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Treat others the same way you want them to treat you… love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:27-36) This is not an impossible commandment Jesus asks of us. Rather it is what He Himself did when He was on the cross, being mocked and slandered. He said: "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) Jesus prayed for and blessed the very ones who put Him on the cross. He was fully obedient to the will and the plan of the Father. Jesus taught us to pray: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ If we have in mind the will of God and the way of the kingdom of God, we can trust Him fully with the things of the world, with our battles, our difficulties and even with our enemies.
Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” And my soul shall rejoice in the Lord; It shall exult in His salvation. All my bones will say, “Lord, who is like You. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven, in and through my life. Amen.