A Search Warrant – Psalm 17

Transparency at every step is imposed by many Government Departments especially, with the law-enforcing departments to curb corruption and injustice. Moreover, the adoption of automation in departments dealing with civil welfare has restricted Government officials from showing favour to someone out of turn because of political pressure or bribery. At the same time, people have the privilege to maintain their privacy or hide the facts, and the police have to obtain a search warrant from an authorized judge to enter their privacy.

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
according to what their deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:10

The eyes of God search our hearts and not our outward appearances. For searching our hearts, He does not need to obtain a search warrant from anyone because He is the highest authority. However, God never uses His upper hand to indulge in our privacy. Though He knows our hearts and their intentions beforehand, He does not deal with those on His own. He neither uses our helpless situation nor a peak moment of emotion to thrust Himself into our lives. God awaits a calling from us with our clear minds and firm decision.

Vindicate Me

Hear me, LORD, my plea is just;

listen to my cry.

Hear my prayer—

it does not rise from deceitful lips.

Let my vindication come from you;

may your eyes see what is right.

Psalms 17:1-2

We tend to justify our stand, knowing very well that we are wrong. David, while crying like a child in his prayer, mirrors Jesus asking us to become as a child to enter His Kingdom (Matthew 18:3). A child cries innocently to draw attention without knowing whether the cry would justify the cause or expose the mistake. Children never bother to conceal the facts of the heart but cry at once when something bothers them.

David knew that he could not deceive God by telling lies because He already knows everything. He did not want to justify his plea and expect people to rescue him by giving him a clean chit. We often think that people should support our cause and approve of our views. But David committed everything in the hands of God and asked Him to scrutinize his plea and vindicate him from every false accusation.

Probe Me

Though you probe my heart,

though you examine me at night and test me,

you will find that I have planned no evil;

my mouth has not transgressed.

Though people tried to bribe me,

I have kept myself from the ways of the violent

through what your lips have commanded.

My steps have held to your paths;

my feet have not stumbled.

Psalms 17:3-5

It will be hard for us to digest false accusations, as we feel that we do not deserve to be labelled as something that we are not. We commit mistakes because we assume that what we do is correct and lawful. Killing Jesus appeared to be a just cause for His accusers. Moreover, we always think that others are wrong. We are not ready for corrections and are adamant in justifying what we do is always right. With this nature of ours, we get tormented when the Holy Spirit convicts us.

David was confident of his personal, social and spiritual life and told God that he lived his life up to His expectations. We come to this decision by comparing our life with others. In comparison with others, we might be better citizens or children of God but how far would these assessments survive in the presence of our Holy God. Prophet Isaiah could understand who he was when he met God. We can understand ourselves only in the presence of God. David was confident of his life and deeds, yet volunteered God to reveal his current state. Have we undergone this test by volunteering our Redeemer to probe our hearts or are we pacifying ourselves as righteous?

Keep Me As The Apple Of Your Eye

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;

turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.

Show me the wonders of your great love,

you who save by your right hand

those who take refuge in you from their foes.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;

hide me in the shadow of your wings

from the wicked who are out to destroy me,

from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Psalms 17:6-9

God is always keen to hear and answer our prayers. Often, we conclude that God is neither listening nor answering our prayers. God told through the prophet Isaiah that it is not He but the sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). David had confidence in his relationship with God and trusted Him. In turn, God authored faith in the heart of David to expect the answer for his prayers. David was longing to cherish the love of God and wanted to see the wonders that the loving God does. We often expect miracles to happen because of His mighty power but seldom think about His love. David emphasized the truth that God saves those who do not want to dwell with the devil but make Him their refuge. Do we feel comfortable compromising ourselves with the world or submitting ourselves to God?

Surrounded by his enemies, David prayed to God to keep him under His wings, guarding him against his enemies. He asked God to keep him as the apple of His eyes. We do nothing to guard our eyes. Wearing sunglasses to protect it from the sunlight is an external thing. But we do nothing to protect the apple of our eyes. God designed our eyes that the eyelid closes as soon as it detects any foreign elements approaching it. When David asked God to keep him as His apple of the eye, he gave complete control to Him to guard him.

The Vulnerability

They close up their callous hearts,

and their mouths speak with arrogance.

They have tracked me down, they now surround me,

with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.

They are like a lion hungry for prey,

like a fierce lion crouching in cover.

Psalms 17:10-12

Once David gave complete control to God to protect him, he elaborately defined his vulnerable condition to God. His vulnerability to danger did not panic him and urge him to take action against his enemies. Despite prevailing dreadful situations, David relied on God and His mighty protection. Often circumstances pressurize us to counterattack our enemies, and with our hastiness, we do not allow God to accomplish His purpose in the prevailing situation. In the garden of Gethsemene, seeing the vulnerable circumstances, Peter cut off the right ear of a soldier with his sword. Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me” (John 18:11)? When we are afraid of the circumstances and act hastily, we unknowingly stop God from accomplishing His will in our lives.

The Abundance Of Possessions

Rise up, LORD, confront them, bring them down;
with your sword rescue me from the wicked.
By your hand save me from such people, LORD,
from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
may their children gorge themselves on it,
and may there be leftovers for their little ones.

Psalms 17:13-14

Jesus warned His children not to satisfy themselves by worldly wealth and begetting children. Jesus told the brothers who came to solve their property disputes, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions (Luke 12:15).” Not knowing this truth, the worldly people are satisfied with the abundance of possessions and offspring. When people who do not know God accumulate wealth, their children spend all of them deriving worldly pleasure out of it. David had a concern for their grandchildren that they should not starve because of the extravagance of their children. David depended on the word of God, the double-edged sword, for his protection.

The Future Hope

As for me, I will be vindicated and will see your face;
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Psalms 17:15

This Psalm is called a prayer of David. Prayer is nothing but our genuine conversation with God. When we let God know about us, He will also reveal the desire of His heart to us. During a time of prayer, the body of Jesus transfigured, and the disciples witnessed Him discussing heavenly matters. David’s constant talk with God gave him hope about his future. He believed that God would prove him just in front of his enemies. And in the spiritual realm, that he would see God face to face when his mortal life ends. David had a clear understanding of the transition from mortality to immortality. Our constant relationship and intimate conversations with God will give us the hope of eternity when we reach the end of our journey in this world.

God, search our hearts and correct us where we need corrections.
Prove to our enemies that we are not wrong. 
Grant us the grace to maintain a stable relationship with you to have intimate conversations. 
Open our spiritual eyes to understand that the Spirit of God who raised you from the dead is living in us to give life to our mortal bodies. 
Amen 

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