Psalms 17

* David's integrity. (1-7) The character of his enemies. His

hope of happiness. (8-15)1-7 This psalm is a prayer. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but

if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his

favour. The psalmist had been used to pray, so that it was not

his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty.

And he was encouraged by his faith to expect God would notice

his prayers. Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins

of the tongue, will be a good evidence of our integrity. Aware

of man's propensity to wicked works, and of his own peculiar

temptations, David had made God's word his preservative from the

paths of Satan, which lead to destruction. If we carefully avoid

the paths of sin, it will be very lead to destruction. If we

carefully avoid the paths of sin, it will be very comfortable in

the reflection, when we are in trouble. Those that are, through

grace, going in God's paths, should pray that their goings may

be held up in those paths. David prays, Lord, still hold me up.

Those who would proceed and persevere in the ways of God, must,

by faith prayer, get daily fresh supplies of grace and strength

from him. Show thy marvellous loving-kindness, distinguishing

favours, not common mercies, but be gracious to me; do as thou

usest to do to those who love thy name.
8-15 Being compassed with enemies, David prays to God to keep

him in safety. This prayer is a prediction that Christ would be

preserved, through all the hardships and difficulties of his

humiliation, to the glories and joys of his exalted state, and

is a pattern to Christians to commit the keeping of their souls

to God, trusting him to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom.

Those are our worst enemies, that are enemies to our souls. They

are God's sword, which cannot move without him, and which he

will sheathe when he has done his work with it. They are his

hand, by which he chastises his people. There is no fleeing from

God's hand, but by fleeing to it. It is very comfortable, when

we are in fear of the power of man, to see it dependent upon,

and in subjection to the power of God. Most men look on the

things of this world as the best things; and they look no

further, nor show any care to provide for another life. The

things of this world are called treasures, they are so

accounted; but to the soul, and when compared with eternal

blessings, they are trash. The most afflicted Christian need not

envy the most prosperous men of the world, who have their

portion in this life. Clothed with Christ's righteousness,

having through his grace a good heart and a good life, may we by

faith behold God's face, and set him always before us. When we

awake every morning, may we be satisfied with his likeness set

before us in his word, and with his likeness stamped upon us by

his renewing grace. Happiness in the other world is prepared

only for those that are justified and sanctified: they shall be

put in possession of it when the soul awakes, at death, out of

its slumber in the body, and when the body awakes, at the

resurrection, out of its slumber in the grave. There is no

satisfaction for a soul but in God, and in his good will towards

us, and his good work in us; yet that satisfaction will not be

perfect till we come to heaven
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