“They advance against me; now they surround me. They are determined to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush. Rise up, Lord! Confront him; bring him down. With Your sword, save me from the wicked. With Your hand, Lord, save me from men, from men of the world whose portion is in this life: You fill their bellies with what You have in store; their sons are satisfied, and they leave their surplus to their children. But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence.” Psalm 17:11-15 (HCSB)
Something about this scripture stirred my heart…something stuck out…something drew me in
It started with me listening to the scripture as I was exercising. I listened to it a couple of times and then pulled out the bible and looked for myself. How had I not seen this before? How was it I had read the Psalms many times and I had not really grasped it? It was a moment that brought me to my knees…a moment that opened my eyes to everything we need.
I realized that all we need is wrapped up in these words of the Psalmist; it was only sweet irony that a lion has caught the attention of so many recently. There in the words of David I found hope for today and confidence in tomorrow. Here in the words of Psalm 17 I became aware that the struggles we are facing today are not new to God. I found here in the words of David that we are not alone in our battle, and I found that no matter what struggle we face we are always to be confident in our circumstances.
As I began to look over and study this scripture, what leapt like a lion off the page at me was how much it seemed that David was writing this today. “They advance against me; now they surround me. They are determined to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion eager to tear, like a young lion lurking in ambush. (vv. 11-12)” Look at what we are facing today! Christians are being surrounded on all sides and each one ready to pounce on a weak moment. The enemy is determined to destroy us because they do not agree with our God…but they do not agree because they do not understand Him. We have become comfortable in our surroundings while the lions have encircled us awaiting the moment to strike.
This comfort has caused us to be vulnerable and we are now, like David, crying out from the ground for deliverance. We are now crying out to God to deliver us from the wicked deceit that is happening all around us, we are becoming broken, but we cannot give up or give in.
We can continue looking at what David says to find our answers today. Continuing in verse 14 where it says, “With Your hand, Lord, save me from men, from men of the world whose portion is in this life: (v. 14a).” There it is; what I had missed in prior readings…David crying to be saved from men, men whose portion was in this life. That is what we need to see, those who attack and strive to bring us down are only after what they can accomplish in this life…they have no hope in anything but what they can see or touch, they are only out to accumulate for today and have lost their hope for the future. That was it, they do not see the bigger picture.
Our hope, like David’s, is found in more than material possessions.
Look at verse 15, “But I will see Your face in righteousness;” We will see God’s face in righteousness. We have the hope of seeing Him, but even more beautiful are the last words of the Psalm, “when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence.” When I awake? Is David looking beyond his death to the promise that lies ahead?
I think we can find the courage to face whatever comes our way in these words. When we awake, we find peace the presence of God. Awaken from your sleep! Find comfort and happiness in the presence of our God!