A Quarter in the Psalms- Psalm 17

Psalm 17 is a psalm that petitions the Lord to rescue the believer, and those who call upon his name.

Main Point: David begins by reminding God of his (David’s) righteousness, and how he has been faithful to the Lord’s commandments. Davids espouses his confidence that the Lord will answer him in his time of need. Then David ask God to protect him from those who would seek to harm him. David does so by using lots of vivid imagery. “apple of your eye” “shadow of your wings” are phrases that he uses to describe our relationship to God. And in describing the wicked who assail him he calls him a “lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking to ambush.” Finally, He asks God to confront and subdue his attackers who are “men of the world whose portion is in this life.” Just as Psalm 16 David is again speaking of the life to come. David finishes with his confidence that he will see God, and in this he will find satisfaction.

Interesting Points: verses 14 seems to be difficult to translate as to whether it is speaking of the wicked or the righteous. You can see this in the text note of the ESV, and in the very different translation the NIV gives that verse.

The conclusion is the most interesting part of the Psalm to me. “When I awake I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Two things here: 1) the utter satisfaction that will be our when we see our Father face to face, and 2) at first blush it appears that David is speaking of the resurrection, and final judgement. However, having not studied it at all it is also entirely possible that he simply means that when he awakes in the morning, and having made it through the night he will be satisfied. Which if is the case tell us that we should become more like David seeing God’s likeness in everyday life.

All that being said though, given the line before deals with seeing God’s face, and “likeness” conjures up Genesis 1 and the second commandment it is my considered Judgement that David is speaking of actually seeing God. Though in David’s mind his waking could still be from his night sleep, and not awaking from the sleep of death.

Emotional reaction: The part of the psalm that speaks to me most is verses 6 & 7. It reminds me that God always saves those who take refuge in him. I can call upon him in confidence knowing that he will answer, and that he will deliver. This brings me peace, confidence, and Joy.

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