Today: [Psalms Seventeen] You are as the Pupil of God’s Eye. In this psalm David prays to God and asks to be regarded as the pupil of His eye. When something touches your pupil – you have an autonomic response. You don’t make a decision to respond, it is automatic. Likewise when someone molests you or comes against you David declares that God will act out of His second nature as it were without a need to decide whether or not to defend you. God is always our reliable and dependable defense in time of trouble.
[Psa 17:1-15 KJV] 1 [[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. 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.
There are 34 direct references to prayer in the psalms and this is reference number 4. It is the first mention of prayer as the actual title of the psalm and it originates with David. 73 of the psalms are attributed by David, the balance of the 150 chapters were mostly written by men influenced by David in his lifetime.
When David opens the psalm asking that God hear his prayer – there is an alternate rendering by John Calvin that reads “hear my righteousness”. This is reminiscent of concluding our prayers “in Jesus’ name”. We pray in Jesus name not as a chant or incantation to validate our prayer but to emphasis the fact that we are not asking God to answer our prayer because of our own merits but on the basis of the merits of Christ. 1 Cor. 1:30 says that God has made Jesus to be our righteousness. Our sole approach to God is by prearrangement between the Father and the Son to hear the prayers of those who accept Jesus as savior. It is God saying to His Son “I will hear their prayer as if it were your own on the basis on your merits and not their disqualification”.
David thought it was important to point out that his prayer was sincere and not coming out of “feigned lips” which means deceitful or fraudulent speech. Pretense of prayer is to be avoided at all cost. There is no merit to using stilted language or pious tones in prayer which only serve to engender hypocrisy and not efficacious in receiving an answer. What must God think when we come to Him with high sounding tones and phraseology when what He is desiring is an honest and contrite discourse with us as His creation?
In verse 2 David asks God to behold things that are equal in his life. In other words he invites God to take his measure and look upon his heart as verse 3 states that God had proved his heart”. What does it mean to have our heart proved by God. David says that God had tried him and that his purpose or determination that his mouth would not transgress.
Jesus said in Matt. 12:34 that from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When we restrain our words God proves our heart. This helps us to understand that what we don’t say when we are under pressure or going through a trial is at least as impactful as what we do say.
In verse 4 David says that the word of God’s lips has kept him from being destroy. We can see from this although David lives under the Old Covenant he still hears the voice of God on a daily basis and was instructed and preserved by responding to the Spirit’s leading.
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.
In verse 6 David has called upon the Lord and has ever expectation that he will be heard. In John 11:42 Jesus praying over Lazarus says openly to the Father that he knew that the Father heard him at all times. God is always listening and always speaking. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. He is capable of giving you His full attention at all times because He doesn’t have to divide His focus because of any limitation of His own cognitive ability. Just as God heard David’s prayer and Jesus’ prayer when He walked the earth, He likewise hears your thoughts, and words and prayers. You are not neglected or overlooked or marginalized in anyway from the scrutiny and attentiveness or watch care of our loving Heavenly Father.
In verse 7 David extols the marvelous lovingkindness of God and expresses his heart’s expectation that God will save by His right hand all those that put their trust in Him. He will be saved from those that rise up against him and you likewise will be saved from those that rise up against you and seek your hurt for any reason. Not because you are just or righteous in yourself or morally excellent in your character. God acts in your defense based on the merits of Christ afforded to you and accrued to you by the work of Christ on Calvary in your behalf.
In verse 8 David asks the Father to keep him as the apple (or pupil) of His eye and to hide him (as a mother hen) under the shadow of His wings from the wicked (v. 9) that oppress him and surround him. Have you ever felt hemmed in by trouble?
Have you ever felt surrounded and besieged? Fear not. God is keeping you as the pupil of his eye. In other words if someone touches you it will be as though one who is poked in the eye and has an autonomic response of defending oneself. This tells us that David understood that God didn’t make up His mind on a case-by-case basis whether or not He would defend him. God’s response to defend and bless you are autonomic or automatic. He has already made up His mind in fact as in the case of someone touching your eye His will isn’t even involved – He simply responds. We can count on the love of God. We can know that God will never weigh out our troubles and make a decision whether or not to help us. It is His nature to hear and answer prayer.
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.
In verse 11 David feels stalked by the wicked as a lion stalks it’s prey. He knows that there are things going on around him in secret intended to do him harm. Have you ever felt as though something was going on around you that involved you but was kept from you? Have you ever walked into a room and every one stops talking and you know it has something to do with you? David experienced this same thing. Instead of warring in the natural he first goes to prayer asking the Father to disappoint those that were lurking to harm him.
In verse 13 David asks the Father to disappoint his enemies and deliver him from the wicked that he describes as God’s sword. This is David’s way of acknowledging that ultimately God was in control even over the wicked and those that made themselves David’s enemies. When people make your life difficult and do things that are anything but godly remember that they do not operate outside of His reach or His jurisdiction.
In verse 14 David again reiterates that even the wicked do not escape the Lordship of God almighty. They are said to fill themselves with God’s hidden treasure. When someone seeks to enrich themselves at your expense God takes that personally. They aren’t robbing you they are robbing him and will be dealt with – your part is as the psalm concludes is to trust in the Lord’s righteousness and know that you will be satisfied in the final analysis of things even if it is in eternity.
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