God’s Renewing Word of Peace and Justice
Psalm 17: Today’s psalm is a prayer of one who is being falsely accused and who is seeking God’s justice. The writer pleads for help, protection, and deliverance from enemies, trusting in God’s wonderful love. The psalm concludes by affirming the joy that one experiences in God’s presence.
The Prayer of an Innocent Person
17 Listen, O Lord, to my plea for justice;
pay attention to my cry for help!
Listen to my honest prayer.
2 You will judge in my favor,
because you know what is right.
3 You know my heart.
You have come to me at night;
you have examined me completely
and found no evil desire in me.
I speak no evil,
4 as others do;
I have obeyed your command
and have not followed paths of violence.
5 I have always walked in your way
and have never strayed from it.
6 I pray to you, O God, because you answer me;
so turn to me and listen to my words.
7 Reveal your wonderful love and save me;
at your side I am safe from my enemies.
8 Protect me as you would your very eyes;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
9 from the attacks of the wicked.
Deadly enemies surround me;
10 they have no pity and speak proudly.
11 They are around me now, wherever I turn,
watching for a chance to pull me down.
12 They are like lions, waiting for me,
wanting to tear me to pieces.
13 Come, Lord! Oppose my enemies and defeat them!
Save me from the wicked by your sword;
14 save me from those who in this life have all they want.
Punish them with the sufferings you have stored up for them;
may there be enough for their children
and some left over for their children’s children!
15 But I will see you, because I have done no wrong;
and when I awake, your presence will fill me with joy.
Today’s Key Verse: Psalm 17:6
I pray to you, O God, because you answer me; so turn to me and listen to my words.
In verse 3, the writer speaks of being examined by God. How is the writer’s defense expressed in verses 4 and 5? How would you answer God when undergoing such an examination? What is in your heart today?
I turn to you in prayer, Lord God, knowing that you hear my words and will answer me. You know my heart, and today I ask ________________. I thank and praise you for your wonderful love and mercy. Amen.
Psalm 122: A psalm in praise of Jerusalem.