Psalms 1 - 50

by Mike Raiter

Day 17

Read Psalm 17

We can't be sure when David wrote this psalm, but the events recorded in 1 Samuel 24 would fit very well. Saul, who was trying to hunt down and kill David, had unwittingly entered a cave where David and his men were hiding. David's men thought this was a God-given opportunity to kill the corrupt king. but David knew that Saul, for all his faults, was God's anointed king, so he couldn't lay a hand on him. Letting him go, David called out to Saul: ″I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life″ (1 Samuel 24:11). He assured Saul that he would never harm him; rather, ″may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me″ (v. 12).

There is wonderful comfort in knowing that we who love the Son and are His brothers and sisters by adoption, share in the Father's delight

David prayed for God's deliverance from his enemy. If, while praying that prayer, he'd been planning his own vengeance, then the prayer would have been deceitful (Psalm 17:1). David knows that there is something more valuable than his life, and that is his personal integrity. God knows all about David; as David sings, ″you examine me at night and test me″ (v. 3). This is just as true for us and so, like David, we should ensure that the words of our lips and the meditations of our heart (Psalm 19:14) are one.

In the midst of this psalm, David paints two lovely pictures of his relationship with his God. He asks the Lord: ″Keep me as the apple of your eye″ (Psalm 17:8). The eye is the most cherished part of the body; on a number of occasions, the Lord uses this tender expression to describe His affection for His people (see Deuteronomy 32:10; Zechariah 2:8). Here, it expresses the very special place David has in God's heart.

David then goes on to say: ″Hide me in the shadow of your wings″ (Psalm 17:8). David frequently used this image of the mighty eagle, whose little ones find safety under its majestic wings (see Psalms 36:7; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7).

No one is a greater object of God's delight than His own Son, the Lord Jesus. He is the eternal apple of the Father's eye. There is wonderful comfort in knowing that we who love the Son and are His brothers and sisters by adoption, share in the Father's delight. There is no greater privilege than to be the apple of God's eye.


Think through:

What is the basis for David's confidence that God will hear and answer his prayers (Psalm 17:1)? How should that influence our prayer requests?

″Show me the wonders of your great love″ (v. 7). How has the Lord shown you the wonders of His love?

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About Author

Mike Raiter is a preacher, preaching trainer and former Principal of the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia. He is now Director of the Centre for Biblical Preaching and the author of a number of books, including Stirrings of the Soul, which won the 2004 Australian Christian Book of the Year award.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

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