I feel today a bit like a mountaineer asked the question “Why do you want to climb this mountain? Answer, “Because it’s there!” Psalm 35 isn’t a go to Psalm but since we have looked at other Psalms in our daily devotions most recently Psalm 34 and since all scripture is God breathed it’s good to be challenged and at times, to be driven out of our comfort zone by the breadth of the word rather than look always to the familiar and the comfortable. So, we’re going to look at this psalm during the week. This could be something I come to regret!
Did you ever feel that your back was against the wall, that things were so bleak and hopeless that only God could help you? The problem is that at that time his attention seemed to be elsewhere. One time Karen’s car broke down in the fast lane... oh shouldn’t say fast lane, the overtaking lane of the Knock Dual Carriageway when she had the kids in the car. It wasn’t the dead of night or anything around 7.30pm or something so there were plenty of other road users about. Did anyone stop to help her? No, they mostly drove past while at the same time trying to nosey to see what the problem was which, let’s face it should have been obvious. Who stops for a rest, to sort out bickering kids or to answer the phone in the “overtaking” lane? Eventually she got me on the phone but by the time I arrived one “white knight” thankfully had stopped and pushed the car into a the lay-by on the opposite side of the road. We can feel a bit like that at times when trouble comes or a spiritual issue pops up, we’re obviously in trouble so if God knows our need and sees our plight why doesn’t he act, do something about it? “What’s the hold-up Lord, don’t you see the problem here?”
Clearly David here was in such a place, he was pushed beyond his own resources and God seemed to be slow to act and he felt the need to appeal to God to rouse himself to take up the weapons of war and fight for him. When we’re in a tight spot and suffering physically or perhaps spiritually the pressure is on to sit patiently and wait for God to act. After all is that not what we have been told repeatedly to do as the way to show faith, to wait for the Lord? Yet clearly, as here, there is a time when urgency requires us to call on God to take up the fight for us and do so quickly. That doesn’t mean we have no faith, it shows that we are dependent and recognise it. That brings to mind a hymn, an old hymn as so often those which recognise the frailty of life are, “The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid, but God is round about me and can I be dismayed.”