Psalms 17:1

 

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:1-2, “Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. [2] Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.” David makes a request to God. His request is that his prayer be heard. That is going to happen. God has already promised that He will hear and answer our prayers. It says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Jesus promised in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Jesus also said in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Of course, there are a multitude of other promises in the Bible about prayer. Prayer changes things. When you pray, you can believe that God is listening to you and that He will answer your prayer.

 

In verse one David said that his prayer would not be with “feigned lips.” In other words David said the truth to God. That is why confession of sin is an important part of prayer. We must tell God the truth, and the truth is that we have sinned. We have not done all the will of God. We have not loved Him the way we should have. David knows that he has chosen the right way and the good way of the issues in his life, and David is praying that good will see that fact and act upon it. That is why David says in verse one, “Hear the right,” and it is why David says to God in verse two, “behold the things that are equal.” That means “behold the things that are right.” Always do the right thing, and then you will know that God will be on your side. God is always on the side of that which is right.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:3, “Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou has tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” Life does have its trials because is trying us to see where we stand. God is looking for someone to serve Him and to be faithful to Him. One of the important attitudes to have in order to be faithful to God is to be determined to serve Him. David said, “I am purposed.” He made a choice within himself that he would continue to serve God even when tried. Anyone can make such a choice if determined to do so. God has given us all a free will. The one specific thing that David purposed in his desire to serve God was that his “mouth shall not transgress.” If you keep from sinning with what you say and with the words that you use, you will go a long way in doing God’s will.

 

Another important factor about how to keep serving God is found in the next verse. The Bible says in Psalms 17:4-5, “Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. [5] Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.” We must have the right amount of the Word of God in our lives from reading, meditating, and hearing Bible teaching sermons. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:6, “I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.” It is also important to pray and to keep praying if you want to serve God. David prayed with faith and confidence. David had a close and personal relationship with God, and so David knew that God heard him. David said, “for thou wilt hear me.” It is very important to believe when you pray. Jesus said in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:7, “Shew thy marvelous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.” There are times of trial and difficulty, and there are also times when God reveals Himself and intervenes and does great things for His people. Of course, just like King David, we look for the latter. We love those times when the evil ones are beat back and the people of God get the upper hand. It does happen, and it can happen again. It will happen permanently when Jesus comes back.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:8-9, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, [9] From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.” The “apple of the eye” is a phrase that refers to the ones that God’s love is centered on. Believers definitely are the apple of His eye. We are His children. God offers His love to everyone on the earth, and so those who actually accept His love He gives close attention to. It does not matter how many enemies “compass me about” as long as God’s love is showered down upon me. Love is stronger than hate, and God’s love is stronger than all things. Notice the phrase in verse 8 “under the shadow of thy wings.” That represents a place of protection. Chicks are safe from harm as long as they stay “under the shadow of thy wings.” Jesus used this image in  Matthew 23:37 when He said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

 

David describes the wicked who are his enemies in the next several verses. The Bible says in Psalms 17:10-12, “They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.[11] They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;[12] Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.” The first phrase of verse 10 is an interesting verse: “They are inclosed in their own fat.” It means that they have been taken captive by their own riches and abundance. And because they are so well off in life, they become proud. There is nothing wrong with being rich, but these types of rich people obtain their riches by taking advantage of others. That is why it says in verse 11, “They have now compassed us in our steps,” and in verse 12, “Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey.”

 

These types of wicked people are powerful, rich, and deceitful, and they have you as their target? How can you defend against them? Do what David did: turn to the Lord. David wrote in Psalms 17, “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword.” We do not want to use the arm of the flesh to defend ourselves. We want to use the spiritual armor because we know that this is a spiritual battle. As it says in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.[11] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.[12] For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.[13] Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

 

David describes the ungodly people who are his enemies one more time in Psalms 17:14, “From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” Notice that wicked people are called “men which are thy hand.” God has a purpose for everyone, even those who do not believe on Him. God uses all things and all people to accomplish His will. God is in control. The best example of this was when Jesus was crucified. Jesus came into the world to die for our sins. Wicked men falsely accused Jesus, tortured Him, and put Him to death. God used hose wicked men to purchase our salvation. Jesus had to die on the cross, or we could not be forgiven of our sins and could not go to heaven.

 

The ungodly are also called “men of the world, which have their portion in this life.” A worldly person is a person who has no spiritual life. They have no relationship with God or the Savior. They live only for this life, and they do not think about the next life. Their priorities, their interests, and their ideas are only about this world and this life. But that means that the most that they can gain is what this world offers. It also means that they are living outside of God’s favor and God’s blessings. What they will eventually get from God is called God’s “hid treasure.” It is definitely hid from the people of the world because they are blind to the truth about God. The word “treasure” is used to denote what they will get from God. Their reward will be judgment. And so they live their lives. They have their children, they eventually die, and they leave their substance to their children. But that is all they will ever have. They will not go to heaven. Even so, as long as they are on this earth, the invitation is still out to them to turn to Christ and find the true treasure from God: forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 17:15, “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.” Other people will make their decisions based upon the free will that God has given to them, and I will make mine. My decision is to turn to the Lord, the Master of heaven and earth. Notice that when David spoke of turning to the Lord, David said he would do it “in righteousness.” We can only turn to the Lord when we have the desire to do the right thing and to serve the Lord Jesus. David said that he will “behold” God’s face. Of course, we cannot see God with our eyes, but we can “see” Jesus with the eyes of faith. Eventually, we will see Him even with our eyes. There are many benefits and blessings to being a Christian, but the best is yet to come. The ungodly may appear to be winning in this life, but it is the next life that is most important, and just like David, we will be satisfied when we get there. There is too much wickedness and failure in this life for servants of Christ to ever be satisfied with this life. But how different it will be in heaven! We will see Jesus, we will only be with believers who are filled with the Spirit, and everyone will always do the right thing because we will be made in the image of Christ. It will be perfect, and we will enjoy eternal happiness. If you would like to have such a future, turn from your sins and turn to Jesus for forgiveness.            

     

 

 

 

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Copyright; 2018 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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