Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, “Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!” (Ps 35:27, ESV)
The Hebrew word for welfare in this verse, shalom, also refers to completeness, peace, tranquility, and contentment. Many seek after these things in life, and we often think that it is for our own good. But it turns out that God is also delighted when we are well and at peace.
What loving parent would not worry when their child is sick? What caring person would rejoice when a friend is facing adversities? If humans can have compassion on their loved ones, what more our heavenly Father who cares for us far more than any human can? Therefore, God does not only care for us when we are in times of tribulation, but He also takes pleasure when we are in times of peace—provided we have been righteous before Him.
The resounding theme of Psalm 35 is about upholding one’s righteousness despite being hurt by those who are wrongfully our enemies and hate us without a cause. Even though David’s enemies repaid him evil for good, he fasted and prayed for them when they were sick, and even mourned for them as though they were his own friends and family (vv. 12-14).
This reminds us of Paul’s encouragement in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” This can actually include our enemies because in the very same passage, Paul encourages us to bless those who persecute us, repay no one evil for evil, and not avenge ourselves (vv. 14, 17, 19). This is also the Lord’s teaching (cf. Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27-28).
While it may be difficult to uphold our righteousness when we are pressed on all sides, it is certainly not to our loss. For when others see us finally come out of our adversities and experience peace, they can genuinely shout for joy and be glad—not only them, but also the Lord Himself. He does not only weep when we weep, but He also rejoices when we rejoice.