Psalm 35:24, 25 “Vindicate me in your righteousness, O LORD my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, ‘Aha, just what we wanted!’ or say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’”
[A number of years ago, when I first wrote these comments on Psalm 35, I was involved in helping a group resolve a serious conflict. The leader, who had been confronted by his teammates on abusive leadership, maintained that he was blameless and all the rest of us, including those he asked to come in from the outside and help him, were wrong. He thought he’d “swallowed us up” as he steamrolled us with his logical arguments, not realizing that he was demonstrating exactly what his teammates objected to!
Lord, protect us from having such pride, such self-righteousness, selfish ambition and self-deception. Expose the sins of ours to us quickly so we can, unlike this leader, immediately repent, be wise and kind and avoid bringing dishonor to your name. I thank you, Lord God, for how you will help us in your wisdom which is much higher than ours: you are always firm and clear in what is best. I give you glory and honor now for what you are doing in all our lives.]
Psalm 35:26 “May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.”
[Lord, may Satan and his hordes all be brought to shame in their attempts to bring disunity and distress. Even years later this leader I mentioned has not accepted his fault and continues to hold a bitter grudge against those who tried to help him; may he come to a true and deep repentance and thereby to a greater usefulness for you, Lord.
Thank you for leading us to forgive him as you have forgiven us. In faith I give you praise now for what you are doing through the turmoil this man has caused and what you are doing in him, for you, Lord, are good, gracious and loving.]
Psalm 35:27 “May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, ‘The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant.’”
[Yes, may YOU win, Lord, vindicating your servants in the way you know is best; may you be exalted as we obey you in humility; may you be the One who is lifted up in our joy and gladness at your goodness. We can trust you in all things, knowing that you will periodically lead us through the dark valleys, down snowy paths so that you can eventually bring us out into wider, greener pastures.]