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1 (A Prayer of David.) 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.

3 Thou 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.

4 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.

6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

7 Shew 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.

8 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.

10 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.

13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

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.

15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Commentary for Psalms 17

David's integrity. (1-7) The character of his enemies. His hope of happiness. (8-15)

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.

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.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Psalms 17

  • Pamela Carter for verse 14
    I have read that Psalm so very many times and I dont remember seeing that particular verse the way I saw it this morning. Yes, it is true. My, my, my so many circumstances against me, obstacles, it was, is His hand. He has been calling me to come closer to Him. I have disobeyed, to put it simply. I love HIM so much, HE is magnificent, all powerful, all loving and all Holy and True. HE is Loving Just and True. He only ever calls us closer to Him. Not to punish but to give us opportunities to get to Know Him more and more and more. John 17:3 this is life eternal, to know God and His Son whom He sent" To know Him is to love Him. I confess undisplined flesh, I plead the Blood of the Lamb. Please continue to draw me Yahweh and we will run after you. After you have corrected me use me to draw multitudes to You. Oh Holy and most Perfect One. My dearest papa, my only treasure. Please forgive me and help me. I love you.
  • Norm
    Wow, time is catching up to the Living Word of the Living God. Verse 11 highlights this in a huge way! They are certainly using GPS cell phones license plate scanners computers to track us in our steps by use of satellites and cameras bowing down to the earth. Only a liar could deny that! Praise the LORD Jesus Christ for opening our eyes as we finish out the last days. Blessings to all who yearn for the knowledge of the truth! Amen
  • Sister Sandra
    Thank you Jesus, bless your holy name.
    I had the psalm 17 been call in dream and I believe that God will let me know the reason y He allow me to hear His word because from now till seven day I believe HE will perform wonder in my live Amen
  • Larenia
    this chapter basically speaks the 1st scripture of chapter 23 saying The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.....I am so grateful I just starting back on my reading its been a while but God has touched me in many ways keeping me and mines well I love him dearly and KNOW HE ALWAYS WITH ME...Thank you Jehovah

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Bible Trivia

In Psalm 17, David wants God to hide him where?
  • In heaven
  • In the shadow of His wings
  • In the armor of Christ
  • Under a cloak of darkness