Psalm 35:11 Malicious witnesses come forward; they question me about things I do not know.
Psalm 35:12 They repay me evil for good, making my soul desolate.
Psalm 35:13 Yet when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth; I humbled my soul with fasting, and my prayer was genuine.
Psalm 35:14 I went about mourning as if for my friend or brother; I was bowed down with grief, like one mourning for a mother.
Psalm 35:15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in happiness; they gathered against me. Assailants I did not know tore at me and did not stop.
Psalm 35:16 With godless mockery they gnashed their teeth at me.
When I was a boy, my family owned a chicken farm. We raised 30,000 chickens from one day old to harvest – between seven and ten weeks. While tending the chickens, I discovered that they have an interesting way of dealing with their wounded ones. If a chicken got an injury, it would be its death sentence. The other birds would gang up on it, pecking at its injury. It soon would be dead. They are brutal animals.
David discovered that people can be that way too. Those he had considered his friends took advantage of his failure, gathered in glee, and pounced upon him.
We do not have to be that way. We can be agents of healing and comfort to those who stumble.
Lord, show us how to be friends to those who need friends the most.