Psalm 17: Hear Me, Hold Me, Hide Me
Three words summarize David’s cry in Psalm 17–“hear,” “hold” and “hide.” “Hear a just cause, O Lord, attend to my cry” (v. 1). David was saying, “I want the Lord to hear me, because my heart is right.” “You have tested my heart” (v. 3). When did God do that? “You have visited me in the night” (v. 3). The dark times of life are the times when God is proving us. He’s also proving Himself to us–if we let Him. When you’re going through the darkness, when the night has come, when you can’t see any light, remember, God is proving you and proving Himself to you. God knew that David’s heart was right. “Hear a just cause, O Lord” (v. 1). Remember, when you’re in the darkness, when you’re in danger, when you’re facing difficulties, God will hear you.
David’s second word was “hold.” “Uphold my steps in Your paths, that my footsteps may not slip” (v. 5). David wasn’t just standing still, doing nothing. He was on the move. When you’re in the darkness, you move one step at a time as the Lord directs you. You don’t just sit still and wonder what’s going to happen next. David was saying, “God, I’m going to get moving. You’ve got to hold me up. You direct me. I don’t want to slip and fall.” Jude must have known this verse. He wrote: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24).
David’s last word wsa “hide.” “Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings” (Ps. 17:8). A shadow is not very good protection. But if it’s the shadow of God’s wings, you can depend on it. What wings were these? The wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies. David was saying, “I’m coming into the Holy of Holies. I’m coming to the very throne of God. Please hide me and hold me and hear me.” God said, David, I’ll do it. I’m going to carry you through your dark time.”
What needs do you have today? What thoughts from this psalm encourage you that God can meet your specific needs?
Psalm 18:1-6: A Song of Deliverance
Psalm 18 is long, and it celebrates David’s victory over his enemies. Notice the inscription at the beginning. This is the song that David sang “on the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.” David did not classify Saul as one of his enemies. Isn’t that interesting? David was an enemy to Saul, but Saul was not an enemy to David.
You and I may not be able to prevent other people from being our enemies, but we certainly can prevent our being enemies toward other people. Our job is not to go out and create problems and make enemies. Our job is to pray and to live for the Lord and to represent Him in all we do.
The Lord delivered David from all his enemies. The Hebrew language contains 23 different words for deliverance. The Jewish people knew something about deliverance, didn’t they? All the way from the Exodus throughout their history, God had delivered them.
Who delivered David? God did. When did He do it? When David called upon Him. “I will love You, O Lord, my strength” (v. 1). As you look at Psalm 18:1-6, you find nine different titles for God because David is extolling the Lord: my God, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my strength, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, the Lord. Don’t let that little word “my” upset you. You must lay hold of God personally. you must be able to say, “He is my God, He is my deliverer, He is my salvation.” Who delivers you? It is the Lord. When will He deliver you? When you call upon Him. “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies” (v. 3).
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).