objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added a subheading
summary as a description of what is happening)
Psalm 35: A Cry for God to Contend on his behalf
Comments: A straight forward psalm of David when he
is very clearly feeling down and under the pressure of enemies.
He cries to the Lord to fight on his behalf [v.1-3], so that his
enemies may be overturned [v.4-8] and he can rejoice [v.9,10].
He tells how they come against him [v.11,12], people he has actually
helped in the past [v.13,14] and yet who are now actively against
him [v.15,16]. So he cries out for the Lord to help [v.17,18]
and deal with their nastiness [v.19-21]. He gives a list of things
he wants the Lord to do [v.22-25] bringing change to both those
who are against him and those who are for him [v.26,27] so he
can testify to all of the goodness of the Lord and praise Him
every day [v.28]. A psalm of contention, for God to bring change.]
David cries to the Lord to fight against those who fight against
Lord , with those who contend with me;
those who fight against me.
up shield and armor;
come to my aid.
spear and javelin
those who pursue me.
Say to me,
“I am your
He is clear what he wants to happen to them
May those who seek my life
and put to shame;
may those who plot
back in dismay.
May they be like chaff before the wind,
angel of the Lord driving
may their path be dark and slippery,
angel of the Lord pursuing
they hid their net for me without cause
cause dug a pit for me,
may ruin overtake them by surprise—
the net they hid entangle them,
they fall into the pit, to their ruin.
When that happens he will rejoice in the Lord
my soul will rejoice in the Lord
in his salvation.
whole being will exclaim,
like you, Lord ?
You rescue the poor from those too
strong for them,
and needy from those who rob them.”
He tells how there are those against him
witnesses come forward;
me on things I know nothing about.
repay me evil for good
me like one bereaved.
What is awful is that these are people he had helped previously
when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
I went about mourning
for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
weeping for my mother.
But now when he's down they gather against him
when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
gathered against me without my knowledge.
me without ceasing.
the ungodly they maliciously mocked;
their teeth at me.
He cries to the Lord for help
long, Lord, will you look on?
from their ravages,
life from these lions.
will give you thanks in the great assembly;
throngs I will praise you.
He asks the Lord to stop their unpleasantness
not let those gloat over me
my enemies without cause;
do not let those who hate me without
wink the eye.
do not speak peaceably,
those who live quietly in the land.
sneer at me and say, “Aha! Aha!
own eyes we have seen it.”
A series of petitions for the Lord to act and bring change
Lord , you have seen this; do not be silent.
not be far from me, Lord.
Awake, and rise to my defense!
for me, my God and Lord.
me in your righteousness, Lord my God;
not let them gloat over me.
Do not let them think, “Aha, just what we wanted!”
“We have swallowed him up.”
He wants change for the unrighteous [v.26] AND the righteous [v.27]
all who gloat over my distress
be put to
shame and confusion;
may all who exalt
themselves over me
with shame and disgrace.
May those who delight in my vindication
joy and gladness;
may they always
say, “The Lord be exalted,
in the well-being of his servant.”
The Outcome: he will testify to the Lord's right dealings and
praise Him every day
tongue will proclaim your righteousness,
all day long.
Thoughts: A psalm that reveals or reminds us of how
unpleasant people can be, people who are unrighteous and take
whatever opportunity arises to demean the righteous. David is
clear in his need, the wrong actions of those against him, and
what he wants the Lord to do about it.]
to Psa 36