Friday 6 January, 2017

Psalm 17

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.

In this Psalm of pleading and crying out to God by David for Him to deal with his enemies, there are two verses that stand out to me.

These verses I believe portray the very simple, but profound prayer of our life. The first . . .

V8 “Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings”

We hear the expression “apple of one’s eye” and it is usually used as an endearing phrase by a parent of their child, with emphasis on the positive qualities and traits passed down to that child. As God’s child, I so want to be the apple of His eye. What greater desire should I have than this?

The next part of this verse reflects on the protection of God. To hide, or dwell under the wings of the great God Almighty . . .what safer place is there?

And finally, vs 15 “when I awake, let me be filled with your presence”. To have the abundant presence of God around me, but also infilling me, empowering me, and providing me with His perspective, is the true definition of wealth.

And so my prayer for today, based on this Psalm, and for all days, is simple . . .

Keep me as the apple of YOUR eye;
Hide me in the shadow of YOUR wings

When I awake, let me be filled with YOUR presence. Amen

Written by Stephen Fell

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