(Psalms 17:13-15) “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: (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. (15) As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
David divided Psalms 17 into two stanzas. The first stanza (Psalms 17:1-5) has two requests (Psalms 17:2). The second stanza (Psalms 17:6-15) has four requests; (Psalms 17:7, 8, 13). This devotion begins with his fourth request, (Psalms 17:13a) “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul…”
Beginning in (Psalms 17:13b-14) David describe the “him” of (Psalms 17:13a); who is the “wicked” (Psalms 17:13b-14) and the wicked’s end in contrast to his own end in (Psalms 17:15).
The One Addressed: “Arise, O LORD,”
(Psa 3:7-8) “Arise, O LORD (Jehovah-Jewish Name for God); save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the LORD (Jehovah): thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.”
Jehovah is defined as the Self-Existent One in the Old Testament (Ex. 3:14). It was Jehovah, the Creator, in Genesis 2; He is the One Who spoke to Adam and Eve, and the One Who clothed Adam and Eve with the skins of an animal (Gen. 3:21). It was Jehovah that called Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and confirmed the Everlasting Covenant to them. In fact, the Hebrew word that is translated “Jehovah” is used 7,242 times in the Old Testament; in which all these times it referred to God.
The Bible reveals that Jehovah in the Old Testament is Jesus in the New Testament (Matt. 1:19-25). The prophet Isaiah wrote that Jehovah is the Only One True and Living God (Isa. 46:9-11); for there is none beside Him. Therefore, there is no other to Whom the saints are to petition in prayer their needs; for there is no other God besides Jehovah.
The Petition: “…disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:”
David petitioned God (Jehovah) to “disappoint him”; “that is to “prevent his face” to go before him, and so stop his plans when he is about to seize his prey; who in (PSalsm17:12) compared his enemy to the lion, or to the young lion.
David asked God to “…cast him down….” or to “cut off his feet” that he may fall down. David continues and says, “…deliver my soul…” God deliver me; that is, save my physical life; spare me, God; do what ever is necessary to save me; disappoint his plans to destroy me; and cut off his feet, or his movement to destroy me.
Save From Whom? “…from the wicked, which is thy sword:”
The Wicked: David describes the wicked as:
(1) “Which is Thy sword.” Many times in the Scriptures (Isa. 10:5; Ps. 22:20; Rev. 17:17), God uses the enemy of God to fulfil His will concerning the children of God. David furthers this thought in the next verse (Ps. 17:14a), “…from men which are thy hand, O LORD,” David was saying that the enemies are the “thy hand, O LORD.” God used Assyrians and others, including Babylon of old, to bring chastisement and even captivity to Israel (Isa. 10:6; 47), to conform them to His Will. Not that God does not have over-sight of His Rod; no, He promised He would never leave us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5c).
(2) “O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life.” These are men who are unsaved, or unregenerated by the Holy Spirit; they are dead in trespasses and sin; they walk in the darkness. Therefore, their leader is the sin of the flesh (lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life); they have the wisdom of “this world” (Lk. 16:8); their father is the devil (Jn. 8:44).
(3) Their portion is in this world, “and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure.” That is the gold and silver of this world; that is, you fill yourself with the pleasures that gold and silver afford.
(4) “They are full of children.” Among the eastern nations, this was reckoned a considerable part of outward prosperity and happiness; see (Job 21:7) or their “children are full,” or “filled,” with hidden treasure also.
(5) “And leave the rest of their substance to their babes.” These men, while alive, live in the fulness of their lust and wealth; not sharing with the poor or the cause of God. When they die, they leave none to the poor or to the cause of God; but, leave it all to their posterity (read Ps. 73:1-12).
This was David’s petition to God; and this should be the prayer of every child of God on a daily basis. The children of God must flee from the children of this world as to communion and fellowship with them; for their goals and motives are for self, and the child of God’s goal is to please God, and not self. The children of this world will try to lead the children of God to follow the flesh and not the Holy Spirit.
The desire of the children of God must be as David stated in (Ps. 17:15) “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”
This was David’s goal, and not this world and its treasures, as is the goal of the wicked. David was relating to God his inner Hope as the Apostle Paul wrote in, (Col 1:27) “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” David had as his hope, to see Christ in all His glory. This hope was not a maybe, or a hope-so, for David and all the children of God; but, a know-so hope; a certain hope with complete assurance that he would one day see Christ face to face in Righteousness; not his own righteousness; but, in the Righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21). When this event happens, David said, “I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.” (1Jn 3:2) says “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Yes, David understood this world was not his home; nor his hope; nor his inheritance; for this world is passing away. But, his hope was heaven, in the presence of Christ; in the fulness of His glory. And in his glorified body was his hope that one day he would be in the likeness of Christ when he passed from this life to the next (2 Cor. 1:1-9).
This distinction between the substance of the wicked’s hope (which is the riches of this world); is nothing in comparison to the sure hope of the unsearchable riches of Christ which is the believer’s inheritance in his life after death. When Christ and His glory is the hope of the believer; then the mindset of the believer is completely opposite of the wicked’s hope of the gain of this world’s riches for himself and his posterity. This different mindset of the believer causes his attitude, actions, and attire to resemble the holiness, the peace, and the love of Christ in his daily walk. The believer’s flesh is actively brought under subjection daily; and his new man rules the day (Eph. 4:22-24). His fruit is of the Holy Spirit, and not of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-24). Simply put, the believer is “heavenly-minded” and not “earthly-minded” (Col. 3:1-4).
Therefore, David had complete assurance that God would respond to his plea, (Ps. 17:13) “Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword.” And so should every believer share David’s absolute confidence in his request to the LORD to be saved from his enemy (1 Jn. 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: (15) And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”