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17:1 Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
17:2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.
17:3 Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
17:4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
17:5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
17:6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
17:7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
17:9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
17:10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
17:11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
17:12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

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Everything King James Bible:Psalms
Emblem IV.iii
Psalm 17:5 Stay my steps in thy paths, that my feet do not slide

When e'er the old exchange of profit rings
  Her silver saint's-bell of uncertain gains,
My merchant soul can stretch both legs and wings;
  How I can run, and take unwearied pains!
    The charms of profit are so strong that I,
    Who wanted legs to go, find wings to fly.

If time-beguiling pleasure but advance
  Her lustful trump, and blow her bold alarms,
Oh how my sportful soul can frisk and dance,
  And hug that siren in her twinèd arms!
    The sprightly voice of sinew-strengthening pleasure
    Can lend my bedrid soul both legs and leisure.

If blazing honour chance to fill my veins
  With flattering warmth and flash of courtly fire,
My soul can take a pleasure in her pains;
  My lofty strutting steps disdain to tire;
    My antic knees can turn upon the hinges
    Of compliment, and screw a thousand cringes.

But when I come to thee, my God, that art
  The royal mine of everlasting treasure,
The real honour of my better part,
  And living fountain of eternal pleasure,
    How nerveless are my limbs! How faint and slow!
    I have nor wings to fly, nor legs to go.

So when the streams of swift-foot Rhine convey
  her upland riches to the Belgic shore,
The idle vessel slides the watery lay,
  Without the blast or tug of wind or oar;
    Her slippery keel divides the silver foam
    With ease: so facily is the way from home!

But when the home-bound vessel turns her sails
  Against the breast of the resisting stream,
Oh then she slugs; nor sail nor oar prevails!
  The stream is sturdy, and her tide's extreme:
    Each stroke is loss, and every tug is vain;
    A baot-length's purchase is a league of pain.

Great all in all, that art my rest, my home;
  My way is tedious, and my steps are slow
Reach forth they helpful hand, or bid me come;
  I am thy child, oh teach thy child to go;
    Conjoin thy sweet commands to my desire,
    And I will venture, though I fall or tire.

Fear not, my soul, to lose for want of cunning;
Weep not; heaven is not always got by running:
Thy thoughts are swift, although thy legs be slow;
True love will creep, not having strength to go.

-- Francis Quarles (1635)
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Psalms
Book: Psalms
Chapter: 17

David's integrity. (1-7) The character of his enemies. His
Hope of happiness. (8-15)

1-7 This psalm is a Prayer. Feigned prayers are fruitless; but
if our hearts lead our prayers, God will meet them with his
favour. The psalmist had been used to pray, So that it was not
his distress and danger that now first brought him to his duty.
And he was encouraged By his Faith to expect God would notice
his prayers. Constant resolution and watchfulness against sins
of the tongue, will be a good evidence of our integrity. Aware
of Man's propensity to wicked Works, and of his own Peculiar
temptations, David had made God's Word his preservative from the
paths of Satan, which lead to Destruction. If we carefully avoid
the paths of Sin, it will be very comfortable in the reflection,
when we are in trouble. Those that are, through
Grace, going in God's paths, should pray that their goings may
be held up in those paths. David prays, Lord, still Hold me up.
Those who would proceed and persevere in the ways of God, must,
By Faith and Prayer, get daily fresh supplies of Grace and strength
from him. Show thy marvellous loving-kindness, distinguishing
favours, not common mercies, but be gracious to me; do as thou
usest to do to those who Love thy name.

8-15 Being compassed with enemies, David prays to God to keep
him in safety. This Prayer is a prediction that Christ would be
preserved, through all the hardships and difficulties of his
humiliation, to the glories and joys of his exalted state, and
is a pattern to Christians to commit the keeping of their souls
to God, trusting him to preserve them to his heavenly kingdom.
Those are our worst enemies, that are enemies to our souls. They
are God's Sword, which cannot move without him, and which he
will sheathe when he has done his work with it. They are his
Hand, By which he chastises his people. There is No fleeing from
God's Hand, but By fleeing to it. It is very comfortable, when
we are in fear of the power of Man, to see it dependent upon,
and in subjection to the power of God. Most men look On the
things of this world as the best things; and they look No
further, nor show any care to provide for another Life. The
things of this world are called treasures, they are So
accounted; but to the soul, and when compared with eternal
blessings, they are trash. The most afflicted Christian need not
envy the most prosperous men of the world, who have their
portion in this Life. Clothed with Christ's Righteousness,
having through his Grace a good Heart and a good Life, may we By
Faith behold God's Face, and set him always before us. When we
awake every morning, may we be satisfied with his likeness set
before us in his Word, and with his likeness stamped upon us By
his renewing Grace. Happiness in the other world is prepared
only for those that are justified and sanctified: they shall be
Put in possession of it when the soul awakes, at Death, out of
its slumber in the body, and when the body awakes, at the
resurrection, out of its slumber in the Grave. There is No
satisfaction for a soul but in God, and in his good will towards
us, and his good work in us; yet that satisfaction will not be
perfect till we come to Heaven.

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