Psalm 17

If we are abused and misrepresented, we have a righteous God to go to whose judgment is according to the truth and by whose decisions there will be rendered to every man his due.
In the prospect of awaking with His likeness,
we can cheerfully waive the enjoyments of this life and suffer with patience.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

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

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

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

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.

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

Psalm 17 – ​God’s True Servants Safely Kept

   This also dates from the Sauline persecutions. In the earlier verses David protests his innocence, pleads for deliverance from his foes, and ends with glad anticipation of the vision of God. The psalm may have been composed for use at eventide; two at least of its verses point in that direction, Psalm 17:3, 15.
   What a comfort it is to appeal from the accusations of men to the judgment-bar of God! Yet our sufferings at their hands are God’s smelting-furnace. Psalm 17:3. But we cannot be kept without constant use of God’s Word, Psalm 17:4. And then how safe we are! The apple of the eye—that is, the pupil—is defended by eye lash, lid, brow, bony socket, and uplifted arm. Thy wings, see Deuteronomy 32:11.
   Note the contrast between Psalm 17:14 and Psalm 16:5, 11. The worldly are filled with this world—I with thee. They look for the things of this life—I for the unseen and eternal. They are satisfied with children—I with thy likeness. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Psalm 17:15—I will behold Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake.

​   To a good man, then, this is the world of dream and shadow, and death is the awakening. We are like men asleep in some chamber that looks towards the eastern sky. Outside is the day with its revealing beams, but our heavy eyes are closed to it all. “Here and there, some lighter sleeper with thinner eyelids or face turned to the sun is half conscious of a vague brightness and feels the light, though he sees not the wealth of color it reveals. Such souls are our saints and prophets; but most of us sleep on unconscious.” But the moment is at hand when we shall awake and start up and declare ourselves fools for having counted dreams as realities, we were oblivious to the eternal realities.
   When we awake we shall behold the face of God. Likeness is the same word employed in reference to Moses, who saw the similitude of the Lord. We shall see Him as He is. There will be an outward revelation and manifestation of his lovely and holy character, and it will satisfy us completely. “The glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). And we shall be satisfied. The mind will be satisfied with his truth, the heart with his love, the will with his authority. We shall need nothing else. Heaven itself, with its outspread mystery of beauty, will not divert our gaze from God, nor contribute to our satisfaction. To know God, to stand before Him, to realize that we are accepted in the righteousness of the Well-beloved—this will be enough for evermore.
       “This life’s a dream, an empty show;
       But the bright work to which I go
       Hath joys substantial and sincere:
       When shall I wake, and find me there?” —Our Daily Homily