(Psalms 17:10-12) “They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly. (11) They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; (12) Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places”
Beginning with Psalms 17:10, and continuing through Psalms 17:12, David gives a vivid description of his deadly enemies; those who oppress him and those who compass him about.
1). First Characteristic: Full of Pride in Self:
(Psalms 17:10) “They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.”
The Hebrew Word translated as “inclosed” is “saw-gar” – “A primitive root; to shut up; figuratively to surrender: – close up, deliver (up), give over (up), enclose, X pure, repair, shut (in, self, out, up, up together).” Simply said, ‘the word means to shut up. David said that his enemies were shut up unto their own “fat” (or shut up in their hearts, stupid and senseless to spiritual matters). They had no “fear of God, nor man.” Not only did they have no perception to spiritual things of God; but they were blinded by their great wealth and their increase of power; by which they were full of pride and vanity (Deut. 32:15). Therefore, David said, ‘they are inclosed in their own fat…”
2). Second Characteristic: Closed all avenues of escape:
(Psalms 17:11) “They have now compassed us in our steps:”
As noted in in (Psalms 17:9c), “They have now compassed us in our steps.” That is, David’s enemies, who sought to kill him, had now surrounded him; there was no escape from their deadly plan to kill him, except that God save him. The enemies of Christ surrounded Him in the Garden, in His fake trial, and at His crucifixion. The same is applied to all the saints of God, when troubled on every side by the enemies of the Cross. The Number One enemy of the saint is the indwelling of the “old man.” (Eph. 4:22) “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.” The ultimate goal of the old man in the saint is to deceive, defeat, and finally destroy the testimony of the saint, and to destroy his physical life. The old man desires the opposite of (Heb. 12:1) “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” The old man wants the saint to keep every weight and sin that besets him, and he wants the saint not to run the race with patience; for he wants the saint to give up and turn back on God. But as the Apostle Paul wrote, (2Co 4:8-9) “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; (9) Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.;”
3). Third Characteristic: Hypocrisy
(Psalms 17:11b) “they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth”
This posture of the enemy looking at the earth seems to denote hypocrisy. By looking at the ground, as if they were harmless and inoffensive, and had no ill deigns, and were not even appearing to take notice of anything pertaining to David. The enemy was appearing not to be a threat to David; when in reality, the enemy had as his goal to kill and destroy David.
So, it is today, the flesh, the enemy of the saint, sets the trap using the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life, in an effort to lure the saint into deception, defeat, and destruction. But always be assured, Saint of God, the flesh that dwells in you is the enemy of God. He is a deceiver; and his father is the devil, who is a liar from the beginning.
The old man is not in control of the saint; God is in control. The old man has been crucified, and has lost control of your spirit, since God moved into your spirit and dethroned the flesh in regeneration and conversion in the believer. Therefore, always beware of the flesh, and always yield your spirit to God; for you are now a servant of Righteousness, and not a servant of unrighteousness; and your fruit is unto holiness and not to the flesh (Rom. 6:1-23; Gal. 5:19-24).
4). Fourth Characteristic: Deception
(Psalms 17:12) “Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.”
The enemy of the saint is deceptive in ways to kill the saint. David uses a simile to depict this, “Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.” The key words are, “greedy” and “secret places.” (Psalms 10:9) “He lieth in wait secretly as a lion in his den: he lieth in wait to catch the poor: he doth catch the poor, when he draweth him into his net.”
Thank God, the saints are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit has given the saint discernment of who, what, where, and the how of the enemy of the Cross. The truth of the matter is the enemy has many faces.
First, is the flesh, wherein Paul said sin dwelled in the believer (Rom. 7:14-24). The flesh is the author of the lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life. The flesh uses these three areas on the believer to try to deceive, defeat, and destroy the believer’s witness for Christ, his joy, his success, and his peace. The flesh is the enemy within the child of God; yes crucified, but still there until death. The Apostle Paul gave a stern warning against the flesh, (1Co 10:12) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” The way the saint can defeat the flesh is to call upon God and stand on the Promises of God. This is what David did in (Ps. 17); and this is exactly what the saint of today must do – call on God; walk in the Word of God (2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 4:13).
Secondly, those who are not saved (not regenerated and not converted); those who are ruled by darkness and not the Light; the servants of unrighteousness; those who walk to the excess of the lust of this world. These are the army of evil. They live in sin; they love to sin; they think of nothing else but sin. They hate God and God’s people. They hate the light and the deeds of Righteousness. They are against the Cause of Christ; and have as their goal to steal, kill, and destroy the saints. Self is on the throne of these kind of people. Simply put, they are full of lies, hypocrisy, deception, and pride. They are the “workers of darkness,” children of the devil. They are dead in trespass and sin, doers of evil, and are wicked in every thought and deed. However, be alert and careful; they are masters of deception; for many times, they claim to be a child of God. At times, their words are as smooth as butter, and they sound like a child of God; but, they bite with fangs filled with poison. They dress their outward man with fake holiness, fake joy, and fake power. There are many that wear the ministerial robes; but, their false doctrines betray them, when these doctrines are compared to the Word of God. They are liars, deceivers, hypocrites. They are the blind leading the blind into the ditch. They are puffed up in knowledge; yet they deny the power thereof. They claim to speak the truth; but, in reality, they are whited sepulchers, inside they are filled with uncleanness (read Matt. 23:1-39).
Saint of God, wake up, and examine those who cannot match the Word of God in attitude, actions, and attire. Beware of what they say. Search the Scriptures to see if their words are true. And prove them in what they do — for you shall know them by their fruits (Gal. 5:19-24).