I read Psalms 34-41 this morning. These psalms are intensely personal.
Psalm 35, particularly caught my attention. The author is already in trouble at the very beginning as he asks the Lord, “Contend…with those who contend with me…say to my soul, “I am your salvation.”
There may be times when we sense that people are setting a “Gotcha trap.” V. 7 “Unprovoked they have hidden a net to catch me, unprovoked they have dug a pit to trap me.”
He continues in verses 11-12, “Malicious witnesses come forward and question me on matters of which I know nothing. They return me evil for good, lying in wait to take my life.”
As for his part, (13-14) “Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth, I mortified myself with fasting. When my prayer (for them) came back unanswered, I walked with head bowed in grief as if for a brother; as one in sorrow for his mother I lay prostrate in mourning.”
In return for his mourning others as if they were closest family his pursuers reacted with schadenfreude when he had set backs, (15-16), “But when I stumbled, they crowded round rejoicing…unknown assailants jeered at me. When I slipped, they mocked and derided me, grinding their teeth.” And in verse 21, “They open their mouths and shout at me, ‘Hurrah! What a sight for us to see!’”
Prayer: Lord God, you rose to the aid of your beloved Son against those who unjustly sought his life. Look on your Church as we journey to you, and rescue the poor from their oppressors, that they may tell of your righteousness and your praise; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.