The Works of Worship
Topic: Liturgy - The Work of the People Passage: Psalm 17:1–17:15
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Psalm 17
An enemy is anyone who intends to see you fail. This takes many forms, including slander and gossip. Jesus expects Christians to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” How can a person do this? In Psalm 17, we find King David suffering unjustly and crying out to the Lord for help.
This psalm poetically describes God’s lips, eyes and whole face. Although David did not know as much as we do about the Messiah, this psalm shows us how to endure the slander and unjust treatment of enemies.
We find strength in the face of Jesus, who suffered unjustly for our sake.
- Lips – David claims that his complaint is lodged with “lips free of deceit. Only a perfect person could speak this way (see James 3:2). He is saying that in the matter between his enemy, he is not lying. He has resolved that his mouth will not transgress. He has done so by fashioning his life on the words of God’s lips (v. 4). Jesus likewise did this. (See Luke 4:4).
- Eye – Rather than pursuing the temptation to confront his enemy, setting the record straight, David appeals to his loving God. He turns to God as his Savior. He pleads for God to keep him as the “apple of his eye,” meaning the central focus.
- Face – David contrasts the life of his enemies with his own. Their hope is limited to whatever portion this life affords them. But David is longing for the day when he will be resurrected and behold the face of the Lord.
Taking it home: 2 Corinthians 4:4-6, 17 gives us perspective on life’s hardships. Read those verses and ask God to give you his vantage point for your hard circumstances.