Psalm 17

Struggle in human relationships produces opportunity to show confidence in God.  Most prefer to declare confidence in God when they feel superior to circumstances surrounding them.  Human confidence seems to arise from feelings of superiority quicker than from feelings of dependence.  Humans tend to associate dependence with weakness.  Even when they gratefully depend, internally they feel their dependence is evidence of their weakness.

The cry (prayer?) of Psalm 17 declared confidence in God in the midst of human struggle.  David approached God confident in his “right standing” before God, but tormented by human enemies.  After acknowledging God’s superiority, he asked for God’s assistance.  He asked for a guarding, a hiding, and a protecting,   His human pursuers were tireless as they looked for opportunity to destroy him.  They were like hungry lions pursuing prey.  They were so overwhelmed with immediate self-desire that their victim’s terror was meaningless.

His answer was God’s power.   His assurance was descendants enjoying their inheritance.  His satisfaction was intimate association with God.

There was no mention of his value to God.  There was no declaration of “God, You owe me.”  Never did he see God as his dependent. 

God owed him nothing!  He owed God everything!  He, not God, was the debtor!

A righteous person unfailingly sees self as a dependent.  Unfailingly he acknowledges God’s superiority.  Dependence on God is strength, not a weakness. Dependence on God by accepting Him was no shame—even if you were king.   Asking God was a privilege, not an undesirable humiliation.

Blessed is the person who maintains a confident dependence on God while enduring ongoing human opposition!

David Chadwell
September 11, 2012  *  Fort Smith, AR

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