Psalm 17: Plea for Vindication

If God sees all the rights and wrongs that people do, why doesn’t he bring immediate justice? Why might we think he should?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:1–2 A prayer of David.
I ask for justice, Lord. Hear my sincere cry for help. Declare my innocence, because you see what is right.
King James
Psalm 17:1–2 <A Prayer of David.> Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

How are we comforted in understanding that God knows everything about us? What might be discomforting?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:3 You know my heart. In the secrecy of night, you tested me and found me innocent. I will allow no evil to come from my mouth.
King James
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.

Why do we think actions are more important than words? What strengths and weaknesses exist in our words?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:4–5 Concerning my actions, I heeded your commandments and kept myself from violence. I have kept myself on your straight and narrow way, never letting my steps wander.
King James
Psalm 17:4–5 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

If we know God will answer, why should we ask him to listen to our prayers?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:6 I call upon you, God, for I know you will answer. Turn your ear toward me, and hear my prayer.
King James
Psalm 17:6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

What makes God’s love so remarkable?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:7 Reveal your remarkable love. Trusting you means relying on your invincible hand to protect us from our adversaries.
Romans 5:8 The immense greatness of God’s love is proven by the fact that we were undeserving sinners when Christ died for us.
King James
Psalm 17:7 Shew 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.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

How should we feel about God’s protection?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:8–9 Make me the center of your attention. Hide me like a mother hen protecting her chicks, shielding me from violent enemies who would attack from all sides.
King James
Psalm 17:8–9 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

Why is prosperity not something we should brag about?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Job 1:21 I was naked when I was born, having nothing, and that’s what I’ll take with me when I leave. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken it away. The Lord is to be praised, his name honored.
Psalm 17:10 Their prosperity has made them merciless braggarts.
Luke 12:47–48 The servant who knows what his master wants but fails to prepare and do the work will be severely punished, but the one who does wrong out of ignorance will receive a lighter sentence. Much is required of those who are given much responsibility, and more is required of those who are given more.
King James
Job 1:21 Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed.
Psalm 17:10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
Luke 12:47–48 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

What makes an enemy’s threats intimidating?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:11–12 My enemies have caught up with me, nipping at my heels, expecting to take me to the ground like a lion hiding in tall grass, eager to tear into its prey.
King James
Psalm 17:11–12 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.

What kind of sword does the Lord wield? Why isn’t it more effective?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:13–14 Rise up with your mighty sword, O Lord, and deliver me from these evil people, who care for nothing but worldly pleasures, who seek wealth for themselves and their heirs.
King James
Psalm 17:13–14 Arise, O Lord, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: 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.

How can we judge ourselves and know we are blameless?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 17:15 As for my way, I will stand blameless before you. When I awaken, I’ll be fully satisfied just to be with you and see your face.
King James
Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.