Psalm 35: A Cry for Justice and Revenge

November 24, 2022

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

Author & Non-profit Consultant

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

I love finding ways to feel God in my day, whether I’m going to work or cooking dinner. I make sure I’m connected to Him by listening to Bible stories, sermons, praying, and singing praise songs. All the apps I test are introduced into my everyday life so that I can feel their usability on a daily basis.

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In a world where many people practice the ‘an eye for an eye’ principle, revenge is not a foreign concept. 

However, God calls His people to be different as Christians, to shine their light. The Bible spares no effort in making one understand the great importance of choosing to love and pray for your enemies and turn the other cheek instead of seeking vengeance yourself.

This shows that believers serve a God who is ready to give people a second, third or even infinite number of chances and it is a characteristic He encourages His children to emulate. 

And although God is good all the time, He is also just and rewards each man according to his deeds on their own behalf.

Matthew 5:43-45, for example is one of the many verses in the bible that instruct the believer on how to react towards those who do evil towards them. 

It says,

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

In all honesty, it is easier said than done, even for believers. It does hurt a lot when you have to let go and let God instead of paying someone back in their own coin. It is completely normal to feel this way. 

God understands your human emotions and the feelings of betrayal, hurt and pain. Jesus Himself has been through it all before. Jesus wept, He knew betrayal, He wore the crown of thorns, beared unimaginable pain and rejection from those He called His own and came to die for.

Psalm 35 covers the prayers of a man that spots the weakness of a human being, just like you. A man heartbroken by the advances of his foes.

In this article are gems, from Psalm 35 that would teach you the way to get the God kind of ‘revenge‘ and manage your emotions when hurt.

Read on and share with whoever you think might need it.

Casting Those Emotions Before God

You might have had your fair share of betrayal from friends you cherish, or family not having your back when you need them the most, to important relationships in your life ending badly. 

In every case, the fiery anger and hurt can be quite overwhelming, tempting you to act on them and do things you might end up regretting.

These were the exact emotions David felt when he wrote Psalm 35. But instead of taking matters into his own hands, he went to God in the place of prayer when he was wronged and sought justice. This right here is the best kind of revenge.

The Bible says in Romans 12:19-21

Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.

Instead, do what the Scriptures say: “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you.”

Don’t let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

Beloved, God doesn’t expect you to feel good about being hurt. He expects your pain but doesn’t want you to give into those emotions.

God is in control and He promises to fight on your behalf so leave the settlement to Him.

God is always protecting your best interests. He doesn’t tell you not to get revenge because He likes seeing you hurt, but because He knows how badly revenge can blind and corrupt a person’s heart. It sows seeds of bitterness and anger that you don’t see until your character has been overrun by its fruits.

The longing for justice can only be satisfied before God. He is after all, the God of Justice. He sees your pain and will not let the enemy or your emotions consume you.

Let’s take a deep dive into the scriptures to understand how David prayed.

A Study Of Psalm:35

In the opening verses of this chapter, David called unto God to lift His weapons in preparation for battle. 

This shows a side of God that many are not often familiar with, and a side one would never wish to experience. God is not just a lamb, but He is also the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, a mighty warrior. 

David also handed over the situation to God from the beginning. He didn’t come to tell God what he(David) was going to do against them. He was coming to God to request that He intervene accordingly. 

The aim would have been foiled if He came to God telling Him what he was going to do in retaliation. Instead, he came to God pouring out his heart to Him and asking Him to take action on his behalf. 

Likewise you shouldn’t go to God with an alternative plan of retribution in your heart. It defeats the whole purpose of coming to Him. 

Rather, come to God, just as David did in raw honesty, telling Him how you’ve been hurt and asking for His intervention.

David has always been known for His honesty before God. Here, he came to God with some pretty harsh words;

“Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me; turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me”(vs 4), Blow them away like chaff in the wind— a wind sent by the angel of the Lord. Make their path dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them (vs 5-6).

Believers must understand that the words he spoke came from a place of hurt and anger. Even if his words suggest that he wanted God to completely annihilate his enemies, he was actually surrendering them to God’s judgment.

He spoke words that reflected how he felt at that point. At God’s feet, he showed God his worst without the fear of condemnation. 

It is better to tell God these feelings than to hide them or bottle them up. When a broken man comes to God in honesty, He cleanses up the wound and heals his heart.

These verses speak of what His enemies did to hurt David and their past relationship. 

Once upon a time, David stood by them when they were ill. Now, they decided to watch him go down. 

Many times, good deeds are treated with disdain by their recipients or repaid with evil.

But no matter what your story is, God acknowledges your good and that is the most important thing. 

A believer should do things as unto God, and not unto men. Even with that, the Lord is there to avenge your cause and be your shield.

In these final verses, David promises God thanksgiving. After God delivers Him from the hands of his enemies, he promises Him relentless thanksgiving. 

This was a promise that was fulfilled because David was known as a man of Thanksgiving.

He was going to come to God with thanks just as He did when in pain. This is indeed a worthy character to emulate.

What does Psalm 35 mean for Christian today?

This psalm greatly prepares the 21st century on the action to take when they feel hurt or battled against. It says the Lord God Almighty will fight for His own.

 You don’t need to take an action that is violent or worse, reciprocate what was done. But rather, just as David did in scripture, you turn to your Maker to take up His place and shield you against the enemy.

Even when the Holy Spirit nudges the believer not to retaliate in the flesh but to pour out their hearts before God, it’s not unnatural to still nurse that urge to hurt your enemy just like they’ve done to you.

Whenever you feel that way, you can say this short simple prayer for anger and rest your heart in peace;

Heavenly Father, thank you for the light you always bring through your word. Thank you for teaching us well as usual. I exalt you for who you are. 

I understand that revenge should not be in my hands but in yours. Please avenge my pain and expose the plans of the wicked ones. Abort their plans and prove me innocent of their accusations. I know and trust that you will intervene God. Thank you for everything. Thank you for working on my behalf. Have your way, Lord. Amen. 

How can Christians today apply Philippians 4:13 to their lives?

This psalm greatly prepares the 21st century on the action to take when they feel hurt or battled against. It says the Lord God Almighty will fight for His own.

 You don’t need to take an action that is violent or worse, reciprocate what was done. But rather, just as David did in scripture, you turn to your Maker to take up His place and shield you against the enemy.

Even when the Holy Spirit nudges the believer not to retaliate in the flesh but to pour out their hearts before God, it’s not unnatural to still nurse that urge to hurt your enemy just like they’ve done to you.

 

Whenever you feel that way, you can say this short simple prayer for anger and rest your heart in peace;

Heavenly Father, thank you for the light you always bring through your word. Thank you for teaching us well as usual. I exalt you for who you are. 

I understand that revenge should not be in my hands but in yours. Please avenge my pain and expose the plans of the wicked ones. Abort their plans and prove me innocent of their accusations. I know and trust that you will intervene God. Thank you for everything. Thank you for working on my behalf. Have your way, Lord. Amen. 

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Final Thoughts

It is impossible to live our lives without ever encountering anger and disappointment. However, Psalm:35 teaches us that as Christians, it is at God’s feet we settle our struggles and seek justice and healing. 

Open your heart and allow it to be in tune with God’s will while you pray. By pouring out your anger to God, He fills you with the strength to push past your hurt and forgive, just like He did to David. 

And as you’re swept up in it, He will surely take up your battles and fight them for you. He will defend you ruthlessly against the enemy. God is greater than all lows and it’s no news that whoever is on the Lord’s side will be assured victory in due time.

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Ted Atkins

Ted Atkins

Pastor, Church Leader and Founder

Alberta Vadnais

Alberta Vadnais

Author & Non-profit Consultant