Yesterday I focused on the Lord’s promise to rescue his people when they cry out for salvation. Today, in the very next psalm in the book we see the same theme in the first two verses of today’s passage. The Psalmist is rejoicing and praising the Lord with every bone in his body because he is rescued by God. But it is the rest of the passage which interests me today. It illustrates one of the more moving ways in which the word of God can be of great comfort to those who read it regularly. In recent days, I have become aware that I have been gossiped about and slandered and accused of all kinds of things that I know nothing about, by all sorts of people who I hardly know. This is happening as a result of the breakdown of my marriage. As a result of months of uncertainty about where I will live and how and when I will be able to spend time with my daughter and now this added stress, I find that I have become literally sick with despair.
Psalm 35:9-16 NLT
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
“Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good. I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
I denied myself by fasting for them, but my prayers returned to me unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
They gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know; they slander me constantly.
16 They mock me and call me names; they snarl at me.
The curious thing about reading today’s passage, just now when I am feeling low, is that it is as if the Lord himself is saying he feels my pain and he knows what it is like. I actually read it yesterday when the pain was greatest, and I was astonished at just how accurately it described how I was feeling. This may mean little to you as you read it this morning, but I want to testify that God touched me with these verses and they made a real difference. Today I share them with you and rejoice because of the truth of what we find in another psalm— Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:5 NLT)
Nehemiah 12:27-13:31, 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, Psalms 35:1-16, Proverbs 21:17-18