6 I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. 7 Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. 8 Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings. 9 Protect me from wicked people who attack me, from murderous enemies who surround me. 10 They are without pity. Listen to their boasting! 11 They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground. 12 They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart— like young lions hiding in ambush. 13 Arise, O Lord! Stand against them, and bring them to their knees! Rescue me from the wicked with your sword! 14 By 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. 15 Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied.
In our instantaneous gratification society, we have developed the expectation that things should be easy. We think we should be able to immediately access any piece of information, and when we have to wait for just a few minutes, we are offended. We have fast food, high-speed internet, instant oats, and same-day delivery. Our belief is that our lives are easier when we get what we want, when we want it. However, that is not what God designed, nor is it how He generally works. Yes, he can do that if He wishes, but time is a tool in His hands.
David knew the need to wait patiently. He knew that he was the next king. He had been anointed and had the promise, yet He went through many years as Saul continued his reign and pursuit of the one whom he knew was to follow him in the position. David’s prayer in Psalm 17 gives insight to some of the challenges that David faced at that time: enemies, wicked people who attack me, hungry lions eager to tear me apart…. The reality of David’s life at this point is nothing that anyone spends any time wishing for themselves.
David could have easily thought, “Come on, God. Let’s get the thing done and put me on the throne now. We are wasting so much time when we could be doing so much good.” Yet, he clearly does not choose to do that. Instead, he prays because he knows God will answer. He goes to God and trusts in His plan and His provision. In that, David is able to be patient.
How does that line up with how you respond to the enemies, wickedness, and evil pursuits that are a part of your life? The difference between the ways of the world (impatience, hurried, ease) and the ways of God (dependent, prayerful) could not be bigger. David shows a confidence as he asks God to arise, rescue him, and protect him. He recognizes the truth of who God is, His sovereign control, and His unfailing love for His children. When you face the challenges, enemies, or wickedness, go to God’s truth and remind yourself of His character and His purposes.
That is not always so easily done. It wasn’t easy for David either. Look at his prayer, however. “O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.” David’s entire perspective, his only hope for sticking with the ways of God, is his request of God in these verses. God, listen to my prayer. God, show me your unfailing love.
We need to make this our prayer. The only way that we can overcome our impatience and our addiction to ease is to go to God and beg him to change our perspective. As we continue to pray for the Taylor team, our heartfelt prayer must be that God would hear and show Himself. Face it, we all face challenges, evil, and wickedness. If we are not facing it now, we will soon. When we do, if we place our hope in a provision of ease or fast resolution, we will be disappointed and lose heart. If we place our hope in the reality of God hearing our prayer and showing the truth of His unfailing love, our hope is solid and can carry us through.