(Psalms 17:8-9) “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings (9) From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.”
David is still in the second stanza of his petition to God. Here in Psalms 17:8 David makes his second and third requests to God, “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”
The phrase, “…the apple of the eye…” is made up of two Hebrew words. The summary of these two Hebrew words is, “the little man of the eye; the pupil or ball; hence the middle (of night): – apple [of the eye], black, obscure” and “apple [of the eye], branch, company, daughter.”
Obviously, David is using a figure of speech indicated by using the word “as.” So, David is giving a comparison to indicate his position in God’s view. The eye is the gate of vision to the brain. Eyesight is most precious for navigation and perception of what is before the individual. Therefore, God created protection for the eye. The physical eye is guarded by the eye lid, the eye brow, and the eye lashes from possible hurt to the eye itself; even to the iris of the eyeball, which is the camera itself created by God.
Based upon the above facts of the eye; David uses God’s protection of the eye to the keeping of his entire being, both physically and spiritually, because of his position in God as His child.
First Request: “Keep”
The Hebrew word translated “Keep” is defined as “a hedge about; that is guard, generally to protect; to keep, preserve and to watch.” Therefore, David petitioned God to place a hedge about him, or to guard him from his enemies. As the eye is defenseless from hurt, in and of itself; so, the child of God is no match for the enemies of darkness.
David’s petition not only included a hedge, or a guard from his enemies; but, also, David’s petition involved that God remember who he was in Christ, or in God. David, said to God, ‘God, as a child of God, I am defenseless on my own; as are my eyes. You created a permanent guard around the eyes – therefore, remember me; for I am precious in Your sight. You chose me; You saved me; therefore, on that basis, please keep me from all harm. God, place a hedge around me from my enemies as you did Job.’
Second Request: “hide me under the shadow of thy wings”
David was alluding to God’s protection of the saints. This metaphorical speech may look to the wings of the cherubim over the mercy seat, in the Tabernacle, where God granted His presence; or it may look to birds covering their young ones with their wings to save them from birds of prey. (Psa 91:1) “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The question arises: Where is the, “the secret place of the most High”? The secret place of the Most High is a place of Protection and Communion of God; which is given to the saints of God in salvation. It is described as:
1). God’s heart; His bosom: (or in His Communion) (Psa 31:20) “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” The secret of Thy Presence (which is called, “a pavilion”; or a secret place) is the Communion of God.
2). The Church: where Christ dwells (Eph. 3:21); (Son 2:14) “O my dove, (speaking of His Bride; the church) that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.” “…in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs…” That is, in Christ Himself, for all saints are “in Christ” (Rom. 8:1). Christ indeed hides His Bride in Himself – while she is in the Schools of Chastisement, of the Desert, of the Potter’s House, where she is being broken and re-made and conformed to the Image of Christ.
This is beautiful, in that Christ knows where His Bride has been and is; and He prepared her Protection in His appointed trials and tests for His Bride. He placed her here by His Plan and Grace and Mercy.
3). Christ the Rock: (Psa 27:5) “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.” David alludes again to the Pavilion and the Tabernacle as to where God hides His people in time of trouble. But note, David calls the same as “…upon a Rock.” Christ is The Rock (Deut. 32:4, 18, 31; 2 Sam. 22:33, 47; Ps. 31:3; 94:22; 95:1. Therefore, “…the secret place of the most High”; “under the shadow of the Almighty”; is The Rock Christ Jesus; for He is the “Secret Place” and He is the “Shadow of the Almighty.”
Saints Are Hidden in God from Whom?
David identified the “From Whom?” in Psalm 17:9; “From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.” That is as the Apostle Paul said in, (2Th 3:2) “And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.” David said the wicked that oppressed him, and the deadly enemies who compassed him about, were not men of faith; for they were deadly enemies, or enemies who had as their goal to destroy his soul or his life, those who sought to take it away and this was their only thoughts day and night. This is explained in the phrase, “…who compass me about”; that is on all sides; day and night; it was their main desire.
So, it was of Christ on the Cross (Ps. 22:12).
This should bring rest and peace to the saints of God; for you are “the apple” of God’s eye. You are a trophy of Grace; as He was your Sacrifice, Substitute, and Savior on the Cross of Calvary on Golgotha (Isa. 53:1-12; Rom. 3:24-25; Eph. 1:7; 2 Cor. 5:21). You are “in Christ,” and therefore you are not under “condemnation” (Rom. 8:1-17) and nothing can separate from God (Rom. 8:29-39). Hallelujah! Amen and Amen! God promised He would never… (Heb. 13:5) “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Therefore, the saints are safe and secure in Christ. There is nothing, or no one, not anything, that can escape the Omnipresence (God everywhere); or the Omniscience (God has all knowledge); or the Omnipotence (God has all power) of Almighty God, as He applies all of His Promises to His Saints.