Scripture reading – Psalm 35; Psalm 54

Today’s Scripture reading continues David’s plea for the LORD to save him from the plots and snares his enemies had set for him. Psalm 35 and Psalm 54 give us an example of how a believer should respond to an enemy’s malice, criticisms, and threats. I trust today’s devotional will be an encouraging introduction to both psalms.


Psalm 35 – “A Psalm of David”

When David penned Psalm 35 is unknown; however, his plea for the LORD to render him justice and save him from his enemies is a familiar theme. Pursued by an army vastly larger than his troop of six hundred men, David found himself in a desperate place. He maintained his innocence thrice with the phrase “without cause” and reminded the LORD of the injustices he had suffered (Psalm 35:7, 19).


Attacks Without Provocation (Psalm 35:7, 19)


David wrote, “7For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul” (Psalm 35:7). David beseeched the LORD, “19Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause” (Psalm 35:19).


It is one thing to face trouble and suffer for wrongdoing; however, it is another when we have done no wrong, yet someone desires to destroy us. Unfortunately, you will learn there are times when those whom you trust and love as friends are often the ones who will betray you.

Evil Rewarded for Good (Psalm 35:12-16)


David asserted, “12They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling [sorrow] of my soul” (Psalm 35:12).


David wallowed briefly in a “pit of self-pity” when he reflected on the injustices he had suffered (Psalm 35:13-16). He mourned for his enemy (most likely King Saul) when he was sick and fasted and prayed for him (Psalm 35:13). He sorrowed for the king and mourned for the king who became his enemy in the way one loves and mourns for his mother (Psalm 35:14).


Yet, David’s enemy rewarded him evil for good (Psalm 35:12) and rejoiced in his sorrows. In his thirst for vengeance, Saul gathered thousands of soldiers who pursued David like packs of wild animals that hunt and ravage their prey (Psalm 35:15-16).


How do you respond to injustices?


It is tempting to wallow in self-pity and allow anger and bitterness to take hold of your soul. Although he wrestled with injustices, David turned his focus to the LORD and called on Him to save him (Psalm 35:1-3, 17-28). He realized he could do nothing to appease his enemies, for they did not desire peace (Psalm 35:20). After searching his heart for wrongdoing, David turned to the LORD, knowing He was a faithful and true Judge. He prayed, “24Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me” (Psalm 35:24).


Closing thoughts:


Trusting the LORD would hear and answer his prayers, David remembered those who had not betrayed him. He then looked past his sorrows and anticipated that he would be delivered from his enemy and his friends would “shout for joy, and be glad” (Psalm 35:27).


Though he was not yet free from his troubles, he promised the LORD he would one day boldly speak of the His righteousness and “praise [Him] all the day long” (Psalm 35:28).

Psalm 54 – Betrayed by One’s Kinsmen

The title of Psalm 54 states not only the recipient, “the chief musician,” but also the stringed instrument, “Neginoth,” to accompany the psalm. Psalm 54 was a reflection on the sorrow and disappointment David suffered when the Ziphites, men of the tribe of Judah, betrayed him to Saul and said to the king, “Doth not David hide himself with us?” (1 Samuel 23:19)

Psalm 54 is a fitting conclusion to today’s devotional, for it closes with David declaring, 4Behold [Look and see], God is mine helper7For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: And mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies” (54:4, 7).

Closing thoughts:

If you are in the throes of a conflict with someone who has no desire for peace, turn to the LORD. Yes, life is unfair, and sometimes a friend becomes an enemy. Nevertheless, be assured that God is just. You can avoid the “self-pity trap” by calling on the LORD and waiting on his deliverance. After all, God is good and always just.

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals and have them sent directly to your email address. Please enter your email address in the box to the right (if using a computer) or at the bottom (if using a cell phone). You may also email your request to

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization.

%d bloggers like this: