Psalm 17 is a personal lament by David at a time when he was in danger from his opponents. In David’s view, the suffering he’s enduring is undeserved and is an attack on his integrity as a follower of God. The psalm’s relevance to us lies in the fact that, today, many Christians feel that the integrity of their beliefs and of their God is under attack. Whether this feeling is real or perceived, Christians need to “awake” to the same truth that David awakens to in Psalm 17: the true and lasting reward is the presence of the Lord.
David understood that in God he had everything he needed, and if he had God then he had everything his soul yearned for. Christians today need to wake up to that same truth because the presence of the Lord is a truly wonderful gift that puts everything else in our lives into perspective.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what kind of pressure Christianity’s critics or opponents put on our beliefs. Our hope does not rely on their acceptance, nor is it dependent on the popularity of our message. What separated David from his opponents was not that he was inherently better than them, it was that he had a better source of hope. As David alludes to in Psalm 17, his enemy’s hope was only in this life and only in things attached to this world. Have you recently looked at this life and at the things which emanate from this world? Who would seriously put their hope in that?
Christ-followers put their hope in an eternal God who offers eternal life, which means that our hope is not tied to our comfort, our circumstances, or even our comprehension of our experiences in this world. Our hope is in the Lord, whose presence fills our lives and satisfies us.
May we wake up and see just how precious of a gift that is!