1 Lord, stand up against those who stand up against me. Fight against those who fight against me. 2 Pick up your large shields and your small shields. Rise up and help me. 3 Get your spear and javelin ready to fight against those who are chasing me. Say to me, “I will save you.” 4 Let those who are trying to kill me be brought down in dishonor. Let those who plan to destroy me be turned back in terror. 5 Let them be like straw blowing in the wind, while the angel of the Lord drives them away. 6 Let their path be dark and slippery, while the angel of the Lord chases them. 7 They set a trap for me without any reason. Without any reason they dug a pit to catch me. 8 So let them be destroyed without warning. Let the trap they set for me catch them. Let them fall into the pit and be destroyed. 9 Then I will be full of joy because of what the Lord has done. I will be glad because he has saved me. 10 My whole being will cry out, “Who is like you, Lord? You save poor people from those who are too strong for them. You save poor and needy people from those who rob them.” 11 Mean people come forward to give witness against me. They ask me things I don’t know anything about. 12 They pay me back with evil, even though I was good to them. They leave me without hope. 13 But when they were sick, I put on black clothes. I made myself low by going without food. My prayers for them weren’t always answered. 14 So I went around crying as if I were crying over my friend or relative. I bowed my head in sadness as if I were sobbing over my mother. 15 But when I tripped and fell, they were all very happy. Attackers gathered against me when I didn’t even know it. They kept on telling lies about me. 16 They were like ungodly people. They made fun of me. They ground their teeth at me in hate. 17 Lord, how much longer will you just look on? Save me from their deadly attacks. Save the only life I have. Save me from those lions. 18 I will give you thanks in the whole community. Among all of your people I will praise you. 19 Don’t let those who are my enemies without any reason laugh at me and make fun of me. Don’t let those who hate me without any reason wink at me with an evil purpose. 20 They don’t speak words of peace. They make up false charges against those who live quietly in the land. 21 They open their mouths wide at me. They make fun of me. They say, “With our own eyes we have seen what you did.” 22 Lord, you have seen this. Don’t be silent. Lord, don’t be far away from me. 23 Wake up! Rise up to help me! My God and Lord, stand up for me. 24 Lord my God, when you hand down your sentence, let it be in my favor. You always do what is right. Don’t let my enemies have the joy of seeing me fall. 25 Don’t let them think, “That’s exactly what we wanted!” Don’t let them say, “We have swallowed him up.” 26 Let all those who laugh at me because I’m in trouble be ashamed and bewildered. Let all who think they are better than I am put on shame and dishonor as if they were clothes. 27 Let those who are happy when my name is cleared shout with joy and gladness. Let them always say, “May the Lord be honored. He is pleased when everything goes well with the one who serves him.” 28 You always do what is right. My tongue will speak about it and praise you all day long.
In this psalm David is distressed and crying out to God to rescue him, but even as he cries out he paints a picture of God’s strength and capacity to save. He calls out to God to contend for him, to fight for him, to put on armour and come to his aid, to brandish spear and javelin… He is most definitely calling out to a strong and mighty God, a God of power, who can easily defeat David’s enemies.
When things rise against me am I reacting in this way, am I crying out to God with faith and expectation? Do I ask, ‘dear Lord please save me I’m drowning,’ and focus on how terrible the situation is? Or do I cry out and ask God to contend for me, fight for me, put on armour and come to my aid? Do I cry out to God and ask him not just to use his power, but actually brandish his spear and javelin… Do I call on Him to wield His incredible power, His more than enough power, His over the top power, and win the victory for me?
That’s how I want to cry out to God. I want to be stirring faith and declaring truth even as I call out to God for help. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh