A Prayer of David.
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.
David starts out by asking God for help. When I am in desperate need for God to help me out, I try to pray to Him in a way is lead by my heart and not in a way that God can't make it out. Matthew Henry comments by saying, "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." I don't have much to add to that because I think it pretty much covers how I relate to the first verse or so. God's sentence or fate for me is something I can trust in because I figure it will be a favorable one for me and He knows what is equal, what is right (v. 2). So I guess I don't fear His verdict on me when the time comes. God has looked into my heart -- or rather, my character -- and will continue to do so. I don't always act in a way that is pleasing to Him. And I know that at the end of the day, God examines me to see if I acted in a way -- both character and service-wise -- that was pleasing to Him. If I screwed up and didn't act at all in a way that pleased Him, He provides another day by His grace so I will try to show His love to others or Ieven just try to do something that glorifies Him. I like how is says, "thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing." "Nothing" in this case means no evil, which I try to maintain since I may do something that isn't pleasing to God over the course of 24 hours. God examines my heart so I know what I need to work out and what areas I succeed as well as fail at. Verse 4 is a verse tied to memory and it basically means to me that since I trust in God's Word to direct me, I have not given into a lifestyle of sin and lust, which are the paths from the violent one. What's interesting about that verse is that friend of mine wrote part of it in a Bible commentary he gave me for a birthday. I think he wrote it from the NASB translation, which reads, "By the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer." Below that, he wrote my name and a comment he took from a John Piper sermon: "Reading the Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from reading the Bible." Below that, he wrote, "Much love, David Marrufo" and the date, which is April 13th, 2005. So I guess that verse, in my case, has a story behind it and I don't think it would have had as much of an impact on my life if my friend didn't write it in the commentary he gave me. David is asking God to keep him secrure in his path so he won't slip in verse 5. Perhaps I should start asking God for security in my path because I know it would benefit me probably more than I expect. I don't have much to say about verse 6, but I will say that whenever I cry out to God, He hears me and has done so in the past when I couldn't deal with a situtaion my own. Verse 7 speaks to me, mostly the part that says, "O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them." It's a sense of contrast those who have been oppressed and those who have done the oppressing. And whenever I've dealt with oppression, God's saved me from it so it wouldn't take me away from Him. God protects me from the wicked that entice and circle around me (vv. 8-9). I think those verses pretty much speak for themselves. I'm not sure if I've ever dealt with opposition to the degree that David did, but verses 8-13 are a reminder to me of what happens when I'm dealing with crap in life or just a bunch of enemies and how God will take of it if I ask Him to. God saves me from evil me (v. 14) and even has His own of providing for them. I will be satisfied when I see His face when I awake from the sleep of death in resurrection (v. 15). I look forward to seeing His face as a result of my righteousness to Him.
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 17". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <http://www.searchgodsword.org/com/mhc-con/view.cgi?book=ps&chapter=017>.