Psalm 17 - Seeing the Face of God
Psalm 17 1Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. 2Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. 3Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress. 4Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. 5Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not. 6I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. 7Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. 8Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about. 10They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. 11They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; 12Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. 13Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: 14From 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. 15As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
Today's Scripture Meaning David's integrity. (1-7) The character of his enemies. His hope of happiness. (8-15) Verses 1-7: This psalm is a prayer. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his favour. The psalmist had been used to pray, so that it was not his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty. And he was encouraged by his faith to expect God would notice his prayers. Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins of the tongue, will be a good evidence of our integrity. Aware of man's propensity to wicked works, and of his own peculiar temptations, David had made God's word his preservative from the paths of Satan, which lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very comfortable in the reflection, when we are in trouble. Those that are, through grace, going in God's paths, should pray that their goings may be held up in those paths. David prays, Lord, still hold me up. Those who would proceed and persevere in the ways of God, must, by faith prayer, get daily fresh supplies of grace and strength from him. Show thy marvellous loving-kindness, distinguishing favours, not common mercies, but be gracious to me; do as thou usest to do to those who love thy name. Verses 8-15: Being compassed with enemies, David prays to God to keep him in safety. This prayer is a prediction that Christ would be preserved, through all the hardships and difficulties of his humiliation, to the glories and joys of his exalted state, and is a pattern to Christians to commit the keeping of their souls to God, trusting him to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom. Those are our worst enemies, that are enemies to our souls. They are God's sword, which cannot move without him, and which he will sheathe when he has done his work with it. They are his hand, by which he chastises his people. There is no fleeing from God's hand, but by fleeing to it. It is very comfortable, when we are in fear of the power of man, to see it dependent upon, and in subjection to the power of God. Most men look on the things of this world as the best things; and they look no further, nor show any care to provide for another life. The things of this world are called treasures, they are so accounted; but to the soul, and when compared with eternal blessings, they are trash. The most afflicted Christian need not envy the most prosperous men of the world, who have their portion in this life. Clothed with Christ's righteousness, having through his grace a good heart and a good life, may we by faith behold God's face, and set him always before us. When we awake every morning, may we be satisfied with his likeness set before us in his word, and with his likeness stamped upon us by his renewing grace. Happiness in the other world is prepared only for those that are justified and sanctified: they shall be put in possession of it when the soul awakes, at death, out of its slumber in the body, and when the body awakes, at the resurrection, out of its slumber in the grave. There is no satisfaction for a soul but in God, and in his good will towards us, and his good work in us; yet that satisfaction will not be perfect till we come to heaven.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 17. In our text today we see a theme of a plea for justice in the face of false accusations and persecution. David urges us to realize the true goal of life - to know God - and the true reward of life - to see God one Day. David wrote this Psalm when being persecuted by Saul so not only did he pen it - David lived it. In making application we see a goal for our lives. To one day see God through Salvation and to live now by knowing God. David realized that by walking with God he could know God. Today we can know God through, prayer, reading His Word, and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit that will guide you into all truth. How about you? Are you saved? If so, do you walk with God through prayer, His Word. and being sensitive to the indwelling Holy Spirt? Let us learn from our text today and the wisdom from David to know God so we will one day see the face of God.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.