From Chuck Lane
Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 17
1. Who is the Psalmist?
· Psalm 17 is simple inscribe as “A Prayer of David.” Some say “A prayer of David when in great danger,” perhaps once again referring to when he was pursued by Saul, and the men of Benjamin were nearly upon him.
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
· David, of course, is discoursing with the LORD once again, revealing his trust in Him . . . in the same way, with the same language, with the same words that Jesus uses during His times of great trouble.
3. Who is the audience?
· As we read David’s prayer, we can also relate to times of trial we have had, are having, and will have . . . driven to prayer by anxiety and danger.
· As mentioned, Psalms 16-24 are prophecies about Christ, and here we certainly have a clear picture to follow in His perfect ways. After all, Psalms is a Hymn book, so we should expect to learn about Him.
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
1 Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear into my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
· David’s prayer is sincere. He knows the LORD sees into his heart. He knows that the LORD knows what he is going to say, and why he is going to say it before he does . . . but it is still for us to say, for He wants to hear from us . . . in spirit and in truth: John 4:24
This is how our Lord and Savior prayed, commune, discoursed with the LORD, Father God in Heaven.
2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equals.
· David is turning it all over to the LORD. Christ is speaking here. If there is no God, there is no justice. Our image of blind justice holding out the scales of balance free from human endeavor to influence, to weigh down one side over the other, is our ideal. Combined with the ethos that the punishment should fit the crime, we establish our sense of justice . . . which may be an imperfect standard by which we fall short. (Plato’s Republic.) God’s justice is perfect. Indeed, if we understand this then we realize that we don’t ask God for justice, but rather need to ask for the same thing Jesus asked , , , For us . . . Mercy: Romans 3:23 ; Luke 23:34
· This is comforting, knowing that Our Savior will be our judge: John 3:17-18 ;
John 5:22 ; Matthew 25:31-46 ; John 12:48
3 Thou has 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.
· If you recall, God tested David and He found something, just like He found something when He tested me. Just like when he tests you. Even Paul knew what God knew about him, and he prayed three times to take his thorn of the flesh from him . . . do you recall what the LORD told Him? 2 Corinthians 12:7-9.
· There is only one who can say what is said in this Psalm, Psalm 17, A Prayer of David: 1 Peter 2:22
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
· The destroyer is Satan. The prince of this world. Jesus prepares his disciples (that’s you and me) for life until He returns: John 16:7-11 And when He does return, as far as all the worldly works of men go, Peter tells us: 2 Peter 3:10
· A little reminder as to how temporal it all is, or at least for us who claim it as our own – “Mine! Mine!” cries the willful child in us – the LORD of heaven and earth instructs us in Leviticus: Leviticus 25:23
5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
6 I have called upon thee, for thou will hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech
· We can rest assured that our prayers in times of trouble are heard. Jesus explains it this way: John 10:14-15 ; Matthew 18:20 ; John 14:13
7 Shew thy marvelous loving-kindness, 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.
· When we pray to God in our times of trouble, we should not be surprised when He shows up. He may not answer as soon as we would like, and we might not like the answer, unaware of the higher purpose and process for what we may need to go through, like refining silver . . . several times. We get a clue as to how the LORD wants us to learn to pray from Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane: Luke 22:42
· It’s His plan, not ours. He knows what you are praying for, and why you are praying for it. As He changes our heart to be more like His, giving us like desires for ourselves, we see His answers working miracles and mysteries in our lives, growing our faith. And as we grow He will carry us as on eagles wings: Exodus 19:4 And cover us as a hovering mother over her brood Matthew 23:37
9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are enclosed 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 her prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
· Pretty frightful stuff, but as David tells us in another Psalm: Psalm 27:1
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, for 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.
· I’m reminded of what David wrote in Psalm 2 and how God responds to the world-wide movement against Him and His Anointed: Psalm 2:1-4
· And Jesus said: John 15-18
· Job tells us three things that we should always keep in mind when we turn to Him in prayer for help: Job 5:7 ; Job 23:10 ; Psalm 42:11
· Our reward for trusting Him? We “. . . will behold thy face in righteousness . . .”: 1 John 3:2; 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ; Philippians 1:21
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy righthand there are pleasures for evermore.
Written by David, 1000 years before Jesus came, the first time.
5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate? (Done)
6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? (Done) http://www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-NT-quotations.htm
7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?). (Done)