Psalm 17 Prayer for Protection Against Oppressors

sea-of-galilee-1992A Prayer of David.

Hear a just cause, O Lord, give heed to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer, which is not from deceitful lips.
Let my judgment come forth from Your presence;
Let Your eyes look with equity.
You have tried my heart;
You have visited me by night;
You have tested me and You find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
vv. 1-3

You will have trials in this world; these encouraging Words of Jesus flood my thoughts when I read this prayer; I feel the desperation in David’s voice.  I have felt this desperation recently; circumstances tend to leave us parched and feeling alone.  God uses our parched, desperate, crying to draw us deeper in Him.

God will visit us in the night and try our hearts; are we listening?

I was asleep
but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
Open to me..
Song of Songs 5:2

The only way to contend our innocence, is if we are truly repentant for what He found there; He will find something.   Once we confess it, allow the Blood to wash us, we are redeemed.  Only then are we guiltless; Christ’s sacrifice makes it possible.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

People are fallen.  How easy it is to fall from grace; none of us are immune.  Because we live in a fallen world, we will have trials; people will betray us, let us down, and disappoint us ~ and we them.  In the Tabernacle of Moses, the priest was required to wash ~ a picture of the washing of water with the Word (see Ephesians 5:26)The priest looked into the Bronze Laver ~ the polished mirror of bronze, and washed.  He saw only his reflection, not another’s.  The bronze mirror was to judge oneself and wash before performing any service before the Lord.

As for the deeds of men, by the word of Your lips
I have kept from the paths of the violent.
My steps have held fast to Your paths.
My feet have not slipped.
I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.
vv. 4-6

Stay on your path, no matter what others do or say.  God will guide you and you will not slip ~ but wholeheartedly keep to the path God set you on.

Wondrously show Your lovingkindness,
O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of the eye;
Hide me in the shadow of Your wings
from the wicked who despoil me,
My deadly enemies who surround me.
They have closed their unfeeling heart,
with their mouth they speak proudly.
They have now surrounded us in our steps;
They set their eyes to cast us down to the ground.
He is like a lion that is eager to tear,
And as a young lion lurking in hiding places.
vv. 7-12

Often, we expect God to deliver us from the situation instead of seeking wisdom in the situation.  God may be using the hard place to teach things to us and to reveal things about ourselves.  David learned this each time he faced an enemy.  Our expectations in a situation are usually different than what the Lord has planned; how many times have we heard, “Sometimes God calms the storm, sometimes He calms us in the midst of the storm?”  God is our Refuge and Strong Tower, and we can run to Him and be safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-4)

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1: 2-4

This scribe battles this often ~ some circumstances prove too challenging, and it takes all the strength I can muster to look beyond them to the Lord.  Peter, after taking his step of faith to walk the lake’s surface, sank only when he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the wave.  It only took him under because his focus was turned; the enemy distracted him.

The Lord gives us the assurance that He will help us through the trial, all we have to do is ask.  He hides us in the shadow of His wings.  He will keep us.  James continues his admonition on tribulations with the key to making it through the hard times:

 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.  For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8

Peter learned this in his leap onto the lake.  God will give us wisdom for every situation if we ask.  If however, we allow the circumstances to toss us to and fro, and keep us from seeking God, we can’t receive that wisdom, and we go around the mountain again; the trial overwhelms us, and we receive nothing.

 Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low;
Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,
from men with Your hand, O Lord,
from men of the world, whose portion is in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your treasure;
They are satisfied with children,
And leave their abundance to their babes.
vv. 13-14

God will fight our enemies; He assures us time and again in Scripture.  He will keep us; the wicked are concerned only with the things this world has to offer, and are subject to the world’s systems and processes.  Yet we are to have a Kingdom perspective.  Everything you are going through is to enhance the Kingdom of God, and to know God deeper.  He wants to know us and have an intimate relationship with His people.  And after the tribulation is over, and we have wrestled with God, we may leave with a limp (see Genesis 32:22-32), but we will have a new name and a deeper relationship with God.  When you awake you will say to the Lord ~

As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *