Chapter 17: The Righteous Shall See God
A Prayer of David.
“…O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear to my prayer…” (Psalms 17:1)
Like most of the Psalms, David opens by asking God to hear him. He goes on to say that he has “…kept… from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4) and he asks God to “Keep… [him]… as the apple of the eye, [and to] hide… [him]… under the shadow of… [God’s]…wings.” (Psalms 17:8)
The men (and women) of the world are wicked, but those who are righteous “…will behold… [God’s]…face in righteousness” (Psalms 17:15). We learn that the righteous will in fact see God when they die (face to face). Here we can also learn that God is like us, after all we were created in his image!
David closes with a very interesting statement; “…I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (Psalms 17:15). In other words, when David dies and become resurrected again (in the resurrection) shall “awake” with the likeness of God!
What does that mean? Well we already know that we are created in God’s likeness, therefore God has a body of flesh and bones like we do. But we also know that God is still above us, we are not God. However, we can become “like” God in the sense that our end goal is perfection, to become like our Father in Heaven.
If we are faithful, and live in righteousness then when we awake, we will become like our Father in Heaven, a god. Notice how the “god” is not capitalized? Because God is our Father, we can become like Him, but NOT become Him. We have the ability to become “gods” but not become THE God.
Chapter 18: The Lord is Perfect
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: And he said,
Most of the Psalms are relatively short, however this is a long Psalm; there only happen to be three Psalms longer (78, 89, and 119). Its length is well suited to its theme, as described in the title. The title itself is long, with only one longer (Psalm 60).
David starts by telling us in the title that the Psalm was written for God. He tells us why he was writing the Psalm and for what period in history… which includes not only the immediate aftermath of Saul’s death (1 Samuel 31; 2 Samuel 1), but also of the time leading to David’s enthronement (2 Samuel 2-5) David also tells us about Saul. This Psalm can be compared to the Psalm sung by David at the very end of his life (2 Samuel 22). It is likely that David composed this song as a younger man and while in his old age, David could look back with great gratitude and sing this song again!
“I WILL love thee, O Lord, my strength.” (Psalms 18:1)
This was a bold and triumphant declaration made in a season of great triumph. It is true that David decided to love the Lord; but David also felt more compelled to love the Lord who delivered him from his enemies!
“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple…” (Psalms 18:6)
Although, the temple of Solomon was to be built many years later, the city of Jerusalem wasn’t even in Israeli control when David wrote this (2 Samuel 5:6-10). Yet David knew that God had a temple, a heavenly temple that was the model for the tabernacle and the later temple (Exodus 25:9, 40), and that God heard him from his holy temple.
“The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands…” (Psalms 18:20). The Lord will reward those who are not only righteous, but who have clean hands. This means that they had faith in God, enough to follow ALL of His commandments.
David once again repeats this same declaration of rewards for the righteous 3 verses later. This of course is strongly favoring that Salvation comes through Faith AND WORKS! Salvation is in fact a FREE gift, in that sense having faith will get you salvation! However, faith includes works. If you have faith in someone, it means that you have faith in what they stand for. Following the commandments of God, requires work; “…faith, if it hath not works, is dead…” (James 2:17)
David proclaims that “The Lord liveth; and blessed by my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted” (Psalms 18:46)
David knows that the “rock” was not a person, but more of an idea. If you have that rock, which is strong and hard to break…, i.e. your faith in the Lord and his strength (as a rock) you will build a foundation upon that rock that cannot be torn down! David ends his Psalm by giving thanks to the Lord for his deliverance!