“Summaries, Psalms 35-38”Categories: Bulletin Articles
Psalm 35 contains David’s plea for God’s help against his enemies. He asks God to frustrate their attempts to destroy them and to hinder them in everything they do. They hate him without good reason for doing so. Even though he has always been concerned for their welfare when they are in trouble, when they see him in trouble, they plot against him. David asks God to rescue him and not allow them to rejoice in his downfall. Instead, David hopes that God will give those who love him cause to rejoice.
Psalm 36 contrasts the wicked with God. It begins with a description of the wicked, particularly the devious wicked. They plot evil and believe that they won’t be discovered. God, on the other hand, is so good that His goodness can only be compared to the magnificence of nature. His love provides nourishment and light to all people. The psalm concludes with an appeal to God to continue his steadfast love to those who know Him, especially by protecting David from the wicked and defeating them.
Psalm 37 is commonly called “the psalm for the fretful”. It begins with an appeal to, rather than fretting about the apparent prosperity of evildoers, to trust in God instead. He will bless the righteous and those who wait for Him. The wicked, on the other hand, will vanish.
Even though the wicked are plotting against the righteous, God sees through their designs and will frustrate them. Ultimately, God’s protection is more valuable than the riches of the wicked. He will protect them, but the wicked will vanish. Even though the righteous may struggle, God will protect them from complete ruin. In all of David’s long life, he has never seen the righteous nor their descendants be reduced to begging.
David’s advice, then, is to do good, which ensures God’s blessing and averts His wrath. The righteous are surefooted even when the wicked are looking to destroy them, so anybody who wants to prosper should look to God. They’ll see the downfall of the wicked, who spring up suddenly and then are destroyed. By contrast, the blameless are able to establish themselves and their future. All of this is because of the help of God, who is sure to rescue the righteous from the wicked.
Psalm 38 pleads with God to turn aside His anger from David. He acknowledges that he has done wrong, but he is oppressed with the severity of God’s righteous wrath. Everything in his life is going wrong. He’s guilty, miserable, sick, and lonely. Indeed, his enemies have seized the opportunity to plot against him.
David, though, isn’t paying attention to their plots. Instead, his attention is entirely on God, whom he trusts to rescue him from the wicked. He admits that he has done wrong, but he doesn’t think it’s right for God to deliver him into the hands of those who hate him for his righteousness. He begs God to help him because only God can.