Thankfully, God gave us girls.
Throughout the years it has bothered me when someone asked if I missed having a son. Equally odious has been the notion: Girls are harder to raise than boys. Really?? No, to both false assumptions. They were delightful to raise and now I am twice extravagantly loved by astonishing and lovely ladies.
In continuing our trek through the Psalms, we come to the ending Psalm in a long line of laments (Psalms 3-17). We join with Israel and the psalmists who had prowling enemies everywhere—both hidden and audaciously before them. They “close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly. They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground. He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush” (vss. 10-13). Did you notice the change from “they” to “he”? Do you remember that the New Testament describes Satan as a roaring lion seeking to devour us? Yikes! Taking him seriously would be fruitless without the promises of Psalm 17.
We have God. He is the great and final avenger—not us! The most remembered verse from our song is about the Father, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (v. 8). Interestingly, “the apple of your eye” in Hebrew could be rendered, “the daughter of the eye (pupil).” How wonderful is God’s protection and adoration of us (Cf. Zephaniah 3:17). An adoring father understands.
God loves. David prays, “Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand” (v. 7). No one loves us with a ferocious love so perfect, thorough, and relentless like the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.
We have prayer. The superscription tantalizes us with its simple title, “A prayer of David.” There is much to learn about prayer in this little song. Prayer is: confessional about our “heart”—its sin and circumstances (v. 3); authentic about our status (vss. 1-5); bold and emphatic in its pleading –literally, “It is I who call,” (v. 6), and “Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue Him!” (v. 13). In prayer we leave the vengeance and judgment to God (vss. 10-14), and we, by faith, look to the future, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness…I shall be satisfied with your likeness” (v. 15).
We have two choices. One is to live as the beloved, adored daughter of the Father’s eye—secure “in the shadow of your wings” (v. 8). Or to be, as the Message parphrase calls them, “flat-earth people”—“men of the world whose portion is in this life” (ESV, v.14).
When I see my daughters in the pupil of my eye I gleam with immeasurable delight. In Psalm 17, I gratefully realize what God does and sees when He looks at me.
A flat-earth life is not an option.