PRAYING WITH CONFIDENCE
Lord, vindicate me in front of my detractors.
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.
Lord, teach me to be real when I pray and to trust You in all circumstances.
Our first week with Amos has clearly shown that there are right and wrong ways of living. God stipulated how Israel should act towards the poor, but the people ignored him. By contrast, the psalmist is aware of God’s requirements for covenant faithfulness. His apparently extravagant claims do not imply that he has no sin; rather, his focus is on trying to be the best he can be. In a time of great trouble, the psalmist is misrepresented and surrounded by enemies; if this is David’s prayer, then his enemy Saul is the referent, but it could easily extend to metaphorical enemies as well.
The psalmist’s prayer demonstrates his close relationship with God. He is confident that God will hear him (6) and protect him (8, instant protection like the automatic blinking of an eye to guard its pupil [“the apple of your eye”], or like wings covering him, as if God were a mother bird); and such retribution God will do, not the psalmist himself (13,14). He knows that he is anchored to God’s steadfast love (a strong covenant word), that the persecution would end one day, and that God’s presence with him in the future would be as real and as sure as it had been in the past. There is no developed idea of a resurrection in the Old Testament, but perhaps verse 15 offers a hint! Certainly we as Christians can look forward to our resurrection with Christ, which is not an escapist mechanism but a gloriously reassuring reality during hard times.
How do you view your own life? Does it demonstrate that God has taken hold of you?
Lord, we thank You for the calm assurance that even though adversity surrounds us down here, one day we will see Your face in heaven.
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