Hear My Word

Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer from lips without deceit.

My steps have been steadfast in your paths,
my feet have not faltered.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my word.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
But I in justice shall behold your face;
on waking, I shall be content in your presence.

(Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15)


Scripture Study

Psalm 17. The reasons for trust in God, asserted in the previous psalm (cf. Ps 16:1), are repeated in this psalm, which contains many similar words. It also treats of the innocence of the just man (cf. Ps 5:4–7; 7:3–5) and the wickedness of evildoers (cf. Ps 7:2; 10:9), whose “portion” or “inheritance” is described in v. 14 (by way of contrast to Psalm 16:5). Psalm 17 is a typical entreaty by someone who keeps to the right path and desires to trust in God (vv. 4–5; cf. Ps 8).

The psalm can be taken as having three parts, each beginning with an invocation of the name of the Lord or of God (vv. 1–5, 6–12, 13–14). In the first, the psalmist addresses the Lord as a judge, arguing that he is an innocent and just man (vv. 1–5); in the second, he appeals to God for the mercy and protection that he gives a just man against his enemies (vv. 6–12); and in the third, he urges the Lord to intervene by punishing the impious and saving the psalmist (vv. 13–15). The theme of the just man appears at the start and the close of the psalm (vv. 1, 15).

The reward that the sincere man seeks from the Lord—to be filled with his presence (v. 15)—is that which Jesus promises to the clean of heart (cf. Mt 5:8) and that which the book of Revelation records as being given the servants of the Lord in the eschatological city, where “they shall see his face” (Rev 22:4). 

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

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