“You have tried my heart,..
you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths;
my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love,
O Savior of those who seek refuge
from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence,
my deadly enemies who surround me.
They close their hearts to pity;
with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
They have now surrounded our steps;
they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
He is like a lion eager to tear,
as a young lion lurking in ambush.
Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!
Deliver my soul from the wicked…
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalm 17:3-13,15
David cries out from danger, in imminent need, yet from the safest place of communion with his Savior. Surrounded by enemies, his confidence is in the covenant God, his refuge. He approaches on the basis of forgiveness, pleads on the basis of God’s steadfast love and character, and entrusts his enemies to God’s justice and power. In dark times, the shadow of His wings is his light and security.
When new days begin, and with the sun rise doubts, responsibilities, and pressures, we can establish ourselves by prayer in the Lord’s safe place. On His path clear of sin, under His presence of protection, we have peace no matter what buzzes, entices, pokes, or taunts all around.
What wayward lusts or violent reactions or hatred lurks in situation or mind? Under His wings we can purpose to avoid that way. What adversaries- both flesh and mental- pester our peace, poke discontent or dismay, plant fear, regret, or resentment? In the shadow of His wings we can block out the world and fix our hope on beholding God’s face. Indeed, between the Almighty’s shoulders we find perfect peace and safety. (Deuteronomy 33:12; Psalm 91:1-2; Isaiah 26:3)
While we work, serve, and interact here below, activity and distractions can prevent us from resting secure in Christ. We become jaded to think safety is only a ‘one day’ future promise, and to be sure, in many ways it is. Yet, when Jesus has by grace applied His salvation to our souls, our lives are secure forever. We carry the guarantee of His Spirit within, no matter what happens without. Will troubles occur? Yes! Will opposition ridicule and inflict pain? Yes, and yes! But will our souls remain untouched, safeguarded forever? Yes again! In His word and promises we are at peace. (John 10:28-29; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
What changes would occur in my outlook and demeanor if I perceived life in the adjusted light of the shadow of God’s sovereignty and love?
Lord, help me see troubles in the keeping shadow of Your goodness and justice, and to articulate my prayers according to Your promises. May increasing trust magnify Your grace, might, and glory.