Psalms 17:4 MEANING

Psalm 17:4
(4) Concerning the works of men--i.e., as regards the actions of men, or in ordinary human actions; for the expression comp. Job 31:33; and Hosea 6:7, where the margin has Adam.

By the word of thy lips.--Some take this clause closely with the foregoing, and render, "against the word," &c; but the Authorised Version is better. The Divine standard for action, not the human or worldly, influences the writer.

I have kept me.--Literally, I for my part have observed ways of violence. But usage (Proverbs 2:20) almost compels us to understand by this, "I have kept ways of violence," which is impossible here. Hence we have either to give the verb the unusual sense "guard against," or suppose an error in the text.

Verse 4. - Concerning the works of man; i.e. "with respect to the actions of ordinary life " - here called "the works of Adam" ? i.e. of the natural man. By the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. By attending to thy Law, and following it (see Psalm 119:11), I have refrained myself from sin, and avoided the wicked courses of the violent (comp. 1 Samuel 24:4-10).

17:1-7 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.Concerning the works of men,.... Of wicked men, as to what respects and concerns them, or in the midst of them; in the midst of a wicked generation of men, and their filthy conversation; who appear to be so,

by the word of thy lips; the law of God, the Scriptures of truth, the rule and standard of faith and practice, which show what works are good and what are not; by the use, help, and benefit of this;

I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer; such is the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning; antichrist, whose name is Abaddon and Apollyon, both which signify a destroyer; false teachers, and all wicked men: the "paths" of such are their wicked principles and practices, their damnable errors and heresies, their sins and lusts, which make up the broad road that leads to destruction: these the psalmist "kept" or "observed" (a), for the words "me" and "from" are not in the original text; and the sense is, that he took notice of them, and avoided them, and, as a faithful prince and magistrate, forbad his subjects walking in them, and restrained them from them, making the word of God the rule of his conduct.

(a) "custodivi", Pagninus, Montanus; "observavi", Musculus, Piscator, Cocceius, Gejerus; so Ainsworth; "vel prohibui", Muis.

Courtesy of Open Bible