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In the Shadow of Your Wings

A Prayer of David.

1Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
2From your presence let my vindication come!
Let your eyes behold the right!

3You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
4With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
5My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.

6I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
7Wondrously show11Or Distinguish me by your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.

8Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
9from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.

10They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.

13Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14from men by your hand, O Lord,
from men of the world whose portion is in this life.22Or from men whose portion in life is of the world
You fill their womb with treasure;33Or As for your treasured ones, you fill their womb
they are satisfied with children,
and they leave their abundance to their infants.

15As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.


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Ps 17:1-15. This Psalm is termed a prayer because the language of petition is predominant. With a just cause, sincerely presented, the writer prays for a just decision and help and protection. Pleading former mercies as a ground of hope, he urges his prayer in view of the malice, pride, rapacity, and selfishness of his foes, whose character is contrasted with his pious devotion and delight in God's favor.

2. sentence—acquitting judgment.

from thy presence—Thy tribunal.

things that are equal—just and right, do Thou regard.

3. proved … visited … tried—His character was most rigidly tested, at all times, and by all methods, affliction and others (Ps 7:10).

purposed that, &c.—or, my mouth does not exceed my purpose; I am sincere.

4. works of men—sinful practices.

by the word of thy lips—as a guide (Ps 119:9, 11, 95).

destroyer—violent man.

5. May be read as an assertion "my steps or goings have held on to Thy paths."

6. wilt hear me—that is, graciously (Ps 3:4).

7. Show—set apart as special and eminent (Ex 8:18; Ps 4:3).

thy right hand—for Thy power.

8. Similar figures, denoting the preciousness of God's people in His sight, in De 32:10, 11; Mt 23:37.

9. compass me—(compare Ps 118:10-12).

10. enclosed … fat—are become proud in prosperity, and insolent to God (De 32:15; Ps 73:7).

11. They pursue us as beasts tracking their prey.

12. The figure made more special by that of a lion lurking.

13-15. disappoint—literally, "come before," or, "encounter him." Supply "with" before "sword" (Ps 17:13), and "hand" (Ps 17:14). These denote God's power.

14. men … world—all men of this present time. They appear, by fulness of bread and large families, to be prosperous; but (Ps 17:15) he implies this will be transient, contrasting his better portion in a joyful union with God hereafter.




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