How inspiring are the Psalms of David. The more troublesome the circumstances that surround him, the closer he comes to God. In Psalm 17 we read his prayer, “Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life” (verses 13,14). He is able to say, “You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress … by the word of your lips … My steps have held fast to your paths …” (verses 3-5). “The word of your lips” is of course, God’s word; God’s words gave David the strength to hold fast to godly ways: do we use His word as earnestly as David? David wrote, “I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God” (verse 6). David established an intimacy in his relationship with his God. What an example this is.
David next prays, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked …” (verses 8,9). How we need to make such a prayer as our world deteriorates. Our Lord spoke an anguished prayer for the people of Jerusalem, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37).
May our steps hold fast to God’s paths that we may be willing as God’s judgements fall. May we, especially at that time, say to our Saviour as David said to God in this Psalm, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, from the wicked who do me violence …” (verses 8,9).
David then says, “Arise, O LORD!” – and we read again his word, “Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life” (verses 13,14). Our “portion” is in the life to come. The same Hebrew word occurred in the previous Psalm, which the KJV translated as “inheritance”. May our Lord “keep” and “hide” us in safety until we receive our inheritance.