November 07 2022
Today, Monday November 07
“Under the Shadow of Your Wings”
Psalm 17:6-12 – A Prayer of David
“I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech. Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand, O You who save those who trust in You From those who rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, From the wicked who oppress me, From my deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places.”
This is one of three Psalms that David wrote and called “A Prayer of David” (Psalms 17, 86, 142). David had been anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel. He had killed Goliath and become a national hero. He had become a commander in Saul’s army and was best friends with his son Jonathan. But Saul got jealous and had tried to personally kill David on two occasions in the palace and he had to flee for his life. For the next 10 years David was a fugitive in the wilderness. This is the time David cried out to the Lord for deliverance and wrote these Psalms.
First, David prayed for vindication (vv. 1-5), and now he is praying for protection (vv. 6-12). The enemy had surrounded him (vv. 9, 11; and see 1 Sam. 23:19-29), and though David was a masterful military tactician, he knew that without the Lord's help, he could not escape. God was not only the righteous judge, but He was also the powerful defender who could shelter David and his men from the enemy. He used the Hebrew name El as he addressed the Lord, a name that emphasizes God's great power, for He is "the Mighty God." His request in verse 7 reminds us of the "Song of Moses" in Exodus 15:1-19.
Jehovah is a God of marvels and wonders (Ex. 15:11) and great unfailing love (15:13), and His right hand works for His people (15:12). If God could deliver His people from Egypt, He could deliver David from the hand of Saul. (In Ps. 18, David will celebrate that victory.) David asked for "a marvelous demonstration of God's love" in the defeat of his enemies.
In verse 8, David used the two images of the eye and of the wings. He was reminding God that he was precious to Him. The "apple" of the eye is the pupil, the most delicate part of the eye. Just as we protect the eye from injury, so David wanted the Lord to protect him. David may have borrowed these images from Deuteronomy 32:10-11. The phrase "under the shadow of thy wings" sometimes pictures the mother hen protecting her young (Matt. 23:37), but often it refers to the wings of the cherubim in the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle (Ex. 25:18-20). David asked the Lord to make his hiding place into a Holy of Holies, the place of God's throne and God's glory, protected by the angels of God (see 36:7-8; 57:1; 61:4; 63:7; Ruth 2:12). Because of the heavenly intercession of Jesus Christ, God's people today can enter into the Holy of Holies and fellowship with God (Heb. 10:1-25).
The enemy had arrogant mouths and hearts that were "enclosed in fat" (v. 10), that is, they had hearts that were callous from repeated disobedience to the Lord. In Scripture, "fatness" is sometimes associated with a selfish and worldly lifestyle (73:1-9; 119:70; Isa. 6:10). These people were morally and spiritually insensitive to what was right and weren't upset when they did something wrong. Paul called this "a seared conscience" (1 Tim. 4:2), for a heart covered with fat would not be sensitive to the needs of others (1 John 3:17). David's heart was sensitive to God's will; he knew that God wanted him to have "a broken and a contrite heart" (51:17).
David was a compassionate shepherd, but Saul was a ravenous beast (v. 12; see Ps. 57:3 and 2 Sam. 1:23). Twice Saul threw his spear at David (1 Sam. 18:11; 19:10), on four occasions he sent soldiers to capture him, and Saul went personally to lay hold of him (1 Sam. 19:11-23). Now, like a lion, Saul tracked his prey and waited for the right time to pounce; but the Lord protected David.
Have you ever felt like David with people lying about you and attempting to beat you down? I’m convinced David knew the first five books of the Bible, (“the Torah, the Law of Moses”) like the back of his hand. Our defense is still the found in our faith that comes from the Word of God and prayer!
Like David, may we trust in the greatness of our God and ask Him to protect us “under the Shadow of His Wings”.