In the first five verses of Psalm 35, David calls on the LORD to be a warrior. David asks God to prepare for battle by putting on His armor and gathering His weapons. David's request for the angel of the LORD to pursue his enemies reminds me of Joshua 5:13-15.
Following Moses' death and the Israelites crossing into the Promised Land, Joshua had a strange encounter as he prepared for battle. Seeing a man with his sword drawn, Joshua asked, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" The man's response was "No, but I am the commander of the army of the LORD." Joshua worshiped Him, and the Commander said, "Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy."
My first thought of God is not as a warrior, yet Scripture presents God, like David, as a Warrior King. Jesus describes Himself as the strong man who defeats His fully armed enemy and carries off his possessions (Luke 11:21-22). What wouldn’t a king do to protect his kingdom and his people?
After requesting God to save him, David presents his case. Without cause, the opposition is trying to destroy him (v 7-12). They are repaying David's good with evil. When they were sick, he cared for them like family. He fasted and prayed for their well-being, but now they gleefully attack him. David has done as God commanded in Leviticus 19:18, he has loved his neighbor as himself. Now he is asking God to save and vindicate him. David did not take vengeance or revenge into his own hands but called upon the LORD for his salvation. When do you think David learned to have an utter dependence on the LORD?
So when others are determined to harm me, I am to love and pray for them (Matthew 5:44), provide food and drink when they are hungry and thirsty (Proverbs 25:21), and bless and do good to them (Luke 6:27-28). At the same time, it is appropriate to cry out to my warrior Lord and King to contend, protect, and fight for me. My responsibility is obedience to God's commands and faithfully trust Him “who delights in the welfare of his servant!"
Christ Jesus, Suffering Servant and Conquering King, as a recipient of Your grace and mercy, I want to be an obedient subject of Your kingdom. I desire my dependence upon You to be as complete as David's.
Solomon has spent a lot of time telling his readers that they do not know the future. In these six verses, he says "you don't know" four times. Man does not know when disaster may strike, how a baby is formed, how God works, or what may prosper. But Solomon's instruction is don't let your lack of foreknowledge cause you to lose hope and become disengaged with life. Instead, he advises us to continue to sow our seeds in different places. Don't allow the possibility of failure to cause you to quit. I uniquely understand verses 4 and 6. Having farmed for a few years, I learned the weather is essential, but waiting for exactly the right time to plant and harvest ensures failure. Verse 6 hammers home the point to be diligent in sowing because we don't know which application will be productive.
This instruction is relevant in so many situations, but I want to name just a few. Parents are sowing into their children's lives from start to finish. It may seem at times what they are planting is not sprouting, much less taking root and producing fruit. Then in the proper season, the evidence of years of toil becomes visible.
This example is also applicable for witnessing believers. The same questions and doubts arise. Fortunately, the Lord calls us just to sow or water faithfully because He is the One who gives the growth.
Sovereign LORD God, You alone know the future. May our trust and hope in You be so complete we would never be paralyzed by fear of failure. We want to be faithful in whatever situation You have us.