SAVE ME FROM MY ENEMIES
Sovereign Lord, heaven is your throne, and earth is your footstool. You are great, the one true God, and I praise you.
Read PSALM 17
A prayer of David.
1 Hear me, Lord, my plea is just;
listen to my cry.
Hear my prayer—
it does not rise from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from you;
may your eyes see what is right.
3 Though you probe my heart,
though you examine me at night and test me,
you will find that I have planned no evil;
my mouth has not transgressed.
4 Though people tried to bribe me,
I have kept myself from the ways of the violent
through what your lips have commanded.
5 My steps have held to your paths;
my feet have not stumbled.
6 I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;
turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
7 Show me the wonders of your great love,
you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes.
8 Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me.
10 They close up their callous hearts,
and their mouths speak with arrogance.
11 They have tracked me down, they now surround me,
with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.
12 They are like a lion hungry for prey,
like a fierce lion crouching in cover.
13 Rise up, Lord, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
14 By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
may their children gorge themselves on it,
and may there be leftovers for their little ones.
15 As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThink of a time when you were in trouble and someone rescued you. How did that feel?
Psalm 17 is David’s prayer asking God to rescue him from his enemies. He points out his innocence to God (vs 1-5), calling on him to rescue him (vs 6-8). In verse 8, he uses two beautiful pictures – of a child seen as the apple of their mother’s eye, and the mother bird sheltering her chicks under her wings. How do these strengthen your own sense of security with God?
Then, David describes his enemies (vs 9-12): they surrounded him (v 9); they had hardened their hearts against God (v 10); their pursuit of him was relentless (v 11); their attack was vicious (v 12). Place yourself in David’s shoes. Imagine how he must have felt. Verses 13 and 14 become a cry for vengeance against them. We might think that David goes too far. Yet, when we feel hurt and trapped, perhaps we also have terrible and vengeful thoughts. David is praying poetically that his enemies will reap the profits in their lifetimes of living without God.
Lastly, David affirms his hope of rescue through encounter with God (v 15). This is a promise that the life of God in David’s heart will help him overcome all his difficulties.
Are you aware of Christians feeling pressured by some sort of opposition? Using Psalm 17, what words can you offer to encourage them?
Lord, I thank you for the reminder that when I battle the enemy, I am not fighting for victory but from victory. In you, I will prevail.
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