17

Theme: A plea for justice in the face of false accusations and persecution. David urges us to realize the true goal of life—to know God—and the true reward of life—to see God one day.

Author: David, written while he was being persecuted by Saul.

A prayer of David.

1O Lord, hear my plea for justice.

Listen to my cry for help.

Pay attention to my prayer,

for it comes from honest lips.

2Declare me innocent,

for you see those who do right.

3You have tested my thoughts and examined my heart in the night.

You have scrutinized me and found nothing wrong.

I am determined not to sin in what I say.

4I have followed your commands,

which keep me from following cruel and evil people.

5My steps have stayed on your path;

I have not wavered from following you.

6I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.

Bend down and listen as I pray.

7Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.

By your mighty power you rescue

those who seek refuge from their enemies.

8Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.*17:8 Hebrew as the pupil of your eye. 

Hide me in the shadow of your wings.

9Protect me from wicked people who attack me,

from murderous enemies who surround me.

10They are without pity.

Listen to their boasting!

11They track me down and surround me,

watching for the chance to throw me to the ground.

12They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—

like young lions hiding in ambush.

13Arise, O Lord!

Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!

Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!

14By the power of your hand, O Lord,

destroy those who look to this world for their reward.

But satisfy the hunger of your treasured ones.

May their children have plenty,

leaving an inheritance for their descendants.

15Because I am righteous, I will see you.

When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.