Psalm 17 (March 11, 2011)

[1] Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!  [2] From your presence let my vindication come! Let your eyes behold the right!  [3] You 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.  [4] With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.  [5] My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.  [6] I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.  [7] Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.  [8] Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,  [9] from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.  [10] They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.  [11] They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.  [12] He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush.  [13] Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,  [14] from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.  [15] As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. (Psalm 17 ESV)

Go Get ‘Em

David calls in air support. Bring it. Go get ’em. Look at his language! Arise, confront him, subdue him (arrest him like a crack dealer on COPS), deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword. This is a request for war. David is not asking God to just save him and keep him safe. He is asking God to go to war and defeat his enemy with deadly, lethal force. This brings to mind the verse:

Vengeance is mine, and recompense, for the time when their foot shall slip; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and their doom comes swiftly.’  For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone and there is none remaining, bond or free. (Deuteronomy 32:35-36 ESV)

In addition, David acknowledges the lack of eternity in the lives of his enemies. Look at their only reward. Their only portion is this life. Their only inheritance is their kids, and that is all they will see. They will die and leave their wicked legacy to their children. They will die and leave all their money to their kids, and that is all that will be said of their lives.

Hope in the Psalms

What legacy are you leaving your children? Are you the family that speaks poorly about others to such a degree that your kids think that is the normal pattern of life? Are you leaving your kids a legacy of discontent and a desire to see others fall? That’s a legacy of wickedness! Trust in the Lord, and know that his recompense is better than your own. Hope in God, and let the almighty warrior fight for you.

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