Rev. Kevin Parviz, pastor of Congregation Chai v’Shalom in St. Louis, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 35.
Before we conclude the Gospel According to John, we pause to look at a psalm. Psalm 35 was first prayed by King David, probably before He became king, while he was still on the run from King Saul. David had quickly risen through the ranks as a general in Israel’s army, and Saul began to see David as a threat. He tried to have him killed, but David escaped and remained one step ahead of him.
Even though Saul wrongfully sought to take his life, David refused to kill Saul out of respect for God. In Psalm 35 we see how David leaves vengeance to God and refuses to take initiative in the violence, foreshadowing the humility and restraint of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who made Himself like the poor and needy. Although David showed the utmost care and concern for Israel’s king, he was wrongfully accused of treason, as our Lord was wrongfully tried and condemned. As David hid in caves surrounded by enemies, our Lord called out to God from the darkness of the cross to be rescued from the dark tomb. In the end, just as God vindicated David and made him king over Israel, so Jesus was raised and declared Messiah of the world.
Thy Strong Word is a daily in-depth study of the books of the Bible with host Rev. AJ Espinosa and guest pastors from across the country. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
Great Is the Lord
35 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler
and rise for my help!
3 Draw the spear and javelin[a]
against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
“I am your salvation!”
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!
7 For without cause they hid their net for me;
without cause they dug a pit for my life.[b]
8 Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
And let the net that he hid ensnare him;
let him fall into it—to his destruction!
9 Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
exulting in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
“O Lord, who is like you,
delivering the poor
from him who is too strong for him,
the poor and needy from him who robs him?”
11 Malicious[c] witnesses rise up;
they ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
my soul is bereft.[d]
13 But I, when they were sick—
I wore sackcloth;
I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed[e] on my chest.
14 I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
I bowed down in mourning.
15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
tore at me without ceasing;
16 like profane mockers at a feast,[f]
they gnash at me with their teeth.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
Rescue me from their destruction,
my precious life from the lions!
18 I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you.
19 Let not those rejoice over me
who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink the eye
who hate me without cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
but against those who are quiet in the land
they devise words of deceit.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
they say, “Aha, Aha!
Our eyes have seen it!”
22 You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
O Lord, be not far from me!
23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
according to your righteousness,
and let them not rejoice over me!
25 Let them not say in their hearts,
“Aha, our heart’s desire!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”
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.
- Psalm 35:3 Or and close the way
- Psalm 35:7 The word pit is transposed from the preceding line; Hebrew For without cause they hid the pit of their net for me; without cause they dug for my life
- Psalm 35:11 Or Violent
- Psalm 35:12 Hebrew it is bereavement to my soul
- Psalm 35:13 Or my prayer shall turn back
- Psalm 35:16 The meaning of the Hebrew phrase is uncertain