Psalm 35:18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
among throngs of people I will praise you.
This Psalm seems very contemporary, because it describes political persecution. The fact that David endured so much of it shows that human nature really hasn’t changed! That should hopefully be an example for righteous politicians today. Certainly no one is perfect, and since politicians are on display all the time, their faults are often very obvious. However, there are those who honestly seek the good of the people and the nation, and not just their own political power. Those are the ones who most often seem to come under attack! That said, David’s response here, picked up again at the last of the Psalm, needs to be the attitude of everyone who comes under attack, politician or not. It’s interesting that where the NIV says, “among throngs of people,” the Japanese says, “among strong people.” I certainly don’t have the Hebrew to say which is more accurate! In any case, the point is that David is committing himself to give God the glory for his deliverance, whatever form that deliverance might take. Someone whose heart is right before God isn’t going to be seeking glory for himself, but will acknowledge that all true power and purity reside in God.
I consider myself very fortunate never to have come under the sort of attack David was experiencing here, and I’m also very thankful not to have been called as a politician! That said, I have faced baseless accusations at times – and I’ve also been rightly corrected at times! I need to walk in humility and assurance, never thinking that I have all the answers or that I am perfect in any way, but also knowing that God has both gifted and taught me in various ways, and I am to be a good steward of all that He has provided. I realize that He has given me standing in various circles, academic, social, and religious, and I am to use that as an opportunity to thank and praise Him, particularly as an example to those who are watching me. In a couple of weeks I will be speaking to one of the biggest groups I have ever addressed, and I realize I am getting anxious about it, concerned as to whether I will be able to deliver what God wants me to say accurately. I need to remember that on my own, no I can’t, but that He can do it through me. It is a very unfamiliar feeling to be concerned about public speaking, because I generally do it very freely. This is probably a good thing, because it is the opposite of the pride that has hobbled me so much over the years. I’m back to needing to rest, relax, and rejoice in Him, That doesn’t mean taking things for granted; my active cooperation is required. I am to be diligent and faithful, but at the same time remember that the results are entirely in His hands.
Father, thank You for this reminder. It doesn’t seem very related to the political persecution David experienced, but it’s what I needed to hear. Thank You for Your faithfulness to speak to me, whether it’s what I’m expecting or not. Help me indeed “speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long,” as David said in verse 28, for Your glory alone. Thank You. Praise God!