17:1 Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
17:2 From you let my vindication come; let your eyes see the right.
17:3 If you try my heart, if you visit me by night, if you test me, you will find no wickedness in me; my mouth does not transgress.
17:4 As for what others do, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
17:5 My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
17:6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me, hear my words.
17:7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
17:8 Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
17:9 from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me.
David in this Psalm is speaking from a place of great distress. He is surrounded by his enemies and his life is in great danger. Out of his distress he therefore cries out to God in need of protection and help. He also appeals to God to look at his life compared to that of his enemies and see that compared to them, he has lived a life of integrity. He begins to list some of the ways in which he has tried to avoid living a life of sin and that his enemies are filled with evil and their intentions are to hurt him.
As Christians, we are also called to seek God out for a “heart examination” to see if there is any sin residing in our hearts. David wanted for God’s protection, however he also wanted for God to make it known if there was any sin that God needed to reveal to him. David was a man that strived to follow after God, obey and honor Him. He was well aware that yes, his enemies were wicked but that did not exempt him from not having any wickedness in his heart.
This is an example that we should strive hard to follow. God longs to make us more like Him each day and longs for our hearts to have that desire to live for him. The Christian walk begins at the heart and whatever we hold dear to us is reflected in our everyday lives. Ask for God’s help in filling us with a love for Him and a love to follow after Him.
[Featured image from klove.com/encouraging]