Psalm Seventeen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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A Prayer of David.

Prayer of David. Although many of David's psalms include prayers, three of them (Psalm 17, 86, 142) are specifically titled “A Prayer of David.” Like the other two, this psalm is full of heartfelt petitions.

Psalm 17:1 Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

Psalm 17:2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

Psalm 17:3 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.

shall not transgress. Like many of David's psalms, this reflects his experiences to some degree, but it can only be fully understood if applied prophetically to the Lord Jesus.

Psalm 17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

Psalm 17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

Psalm 17:6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

Psalm 17:7 Show 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.

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

apple of the eye. This phrase (meaning “pupil of the eye”) is also used in Deuteronomy 32:10 (see note); Proverbs 7:2; Lamentations 2:18; Zechariah 2:8.

shadow of thy wings. This is the first of twelve references in the Bible to God's “shadow” as a type of His guarding presence. The “shadow of thy wings” is also noted in Psalm 36:7; 57:1; 63:7. Isaiah speaks of His presence as “the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2), “the shadow of His hand,” (Isaiah 49:2; 51:16). Note also Isaiah 4:6; 25:4, 5; and Psalm 91:1. The final reference is in Lamentations 4:20, speaking of God's “anointed” (that is, Christ) abiding with His people as prisoners exiled in an alien land, “under His shadow.”

Psalm 17:9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

Psalm 17:10 They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

Psalm 17:11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

Psalm 17:12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.

greedy of his prey. This must refer primarily to Satan (1 Peter 5:8).

Psalm 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

Arise, O Lord. See note on Psalm 9:19.

Psalm 17:14 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.

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

awake, with thy likeness. This is a strong Old Testament testimony to the resurrection and the future life. It anticipates the glorious promise of xTerm 3:2: “We shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.”