Psalm 35:9-10 Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation. My whole being will exclaim, “Who is like you, O LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them.”
David clearly wrote this psalm from a position of feeling very vulnerable and hemmed in by his opponents. It is good to keep in mind that, because the LORD God was ALWAYS at the EPICENTRE of his worldview, and the very source of his personal courage and proven valour, it is much more likely that he has in mind the SPIRITUAL warfare he was constantly engaged in rather than the physical conflict, although the former usually found outward expression in the latter.
While there are many of our brothers and sisters in Christ today who are being persecuted with unimaginable physical cruelty, especially in places like Afghanistan and Nigeria at present, and for many years in parts of Asia and the Middle East, we are largely spared from it. (Let us be constantly in prayer for families where fathers are being imprisoned and tortured and young daughters are being captured and abused as slave-wives.)
But in terms of spiritual warfare we can certainly identify with David. In the battle for human hearts today we are out-numbered and out-witted at almost every level. The voice for God’s truth is either totally silenced (cancel culture) or mercilessly misrepresented and mocked in the media. The cultural ethos surrounding us opposes our speaking out decisively on Biblical truth regarding things like same-sex relationships, abortion, God the Creator, the person and work of Christ as the ONLY Saviour and the ONLY HOPE for lost humanity, etc, etc.
This is exactly how David felt as he wrote this psalm (and many others like it). The voices opposing God’s truth and his Gospel today in the name of liberation and tolerance seem louder and more persuasive than ours – just as they were 3,000 years ago in David’s day. But that godly King reminds us that our ‘souls’ can ‘REJOICE in the LORD and DELIGHT in his salvation’, in the LORD who ‘rescue[s] the poor from those too strong for them and the needy from those who rob them’. People might ‘rob’ our dear persecuted brothers and sisters of their transient earthly freedoms and comforts, but they can never take away their eternal comfort and security in the Lord Jesus Christ.
They might ‘rob’ us of equal opportunities to proclaim the whole truth of God in the public arena, but they CANNOT stop his Word from penetrating men’s hearts and achieving his saving purposes in them (Isaiah 55:10-11). (So let us pray also that this will happen to many of the Taliban and the Boko Haram terrorists as well!). We can say confidently with King David: “The LORD be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant”, and “My tongue will SPEAK of your righteousness and of your praises ALL DAY LONG.” (27b, 28).