Psalms 35: When Times Get Tough
In Psalms 35, David must have been going through another one of his many difficult times. Most of the chapter spent talking about his unprovoked enemies who are trying to do him harm. However, he calls on God to help him, and he also explains a little bit about what has been happening to him.
Psa 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.
Psa 35:20 For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land.
Psa 35:21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me, and said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it.
It is interesting. The people got all excited because of David’s troubles. I think that we can find ourselves in these types of situations even today.
I bet some of you have been in this type of scenario. Perhaps you had a family member who was sick for a long time but ultimately ended up passing away. You probably had been praying for them for months, but for some reason or other, God did not choose to heal that person.
As Christians, we recognize that even if there are things that we don’t always understand about the will of God, it does not automatically mean that God does not exist or that He doesn’t love us.
However, other people take stories like that and use it as proof of their triumph over God. They say that if God was real, He surely would have saved that person from death. After all, we say that He has power over life and death. Why didn’t He save that person?
Of course, as Christians we know that God is not like an ATM machine. We don’t put in our prayer card and get a payout of the outcomes that we prefer. God is not obligated to give us everything that we demand. If He did, it would be an interesting belief to take to its logical conclusion. (What if I prayed for God to help me rob a bank successfully? Would he necessarily need to help me out in this belief system?)
Regardless, bringing this back to Psalms, it should not be surprising when people use problematic situations in our lives to rejoice. I don’t mean rejoice as in rubbing it in on a person-to-person level necessarily, but these are very popular arguments in skeptical circles.
Remember, this is simply another variation on the argument from the problem of evil. Your enemies will rejoice and feel like God has finally abandoned you. I would argue that that is not true, and I would argue that God does not have abandoned you in these difficult times. Think about Psalms 23.