It's always a great blessing to have dad and mom accompany us to do ministry in other churches. Here we were at a Fil-Am Church meeting in a Messianic Synagogue where Jewish Christians meet in Chicago. I thank God for His continued gift of physical health and longevity upon their lives in spite of health challenges. God is good all the time! On a beautiful Sunday morning we look into the rich passages of Psalm 17. Allow me to share:
While no one can dictate on God or twist His arms to do our bidding we can implore Him to do what is right. Psalm 17 illustrates how David, the author of this psalm, asks God to listen to him on the basis of his righteousness which emanates from a righteous heart transformed by God. Here's what he said at the beginning of this psalm:
"Hear me, LORD, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer - it does not rise from deceitful lips..."
David even challenges God to test him:
"Though you probe my heart, though you examine me at night and test me, you will find that I have planned no evil; my mouth has not transgressed."
A very presumptuous, self-righteous person this David is we may say. How could he claim purity and righteousness when there is no one who is perfect and right before God? This question takes us right into Hebrews 4:16 which encourages us to come before God's presence with boldness, "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."
It is interesting to note that just prior to this verse in Hebrews, the author talks about our great High Priest who ascended into heaven after laying his life down for us that we may obtain the right standing before God which gives us an unfettered access to the throne room of God.
No David was not being presumptuous when he asks God to act on his behalf because of his enemies. He comes on the basis of his faith and is expressing liberally that which God has already committed to do in behalf of His children. He is in other words echoing back the promises God made for those who trust in Him. In this psalm he affirms God's promises:
"I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadows of your wings."
Wow...what an amazing and faith-filled worship coming from an overflowing heart filled with the love, assurance, and blessings of God.
David's faith goes further beyond the grave for he understands its eternal implications. He knows that death is not the end of everything but rather it is the gateway of unending bliss with God. He ends this beautiful psalm with a great declaration of immortality, victory, and satisfaction:
"As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."