Psalm 17:10
From the first to the fifth verse the prayer bases his confidence in God on four pleas.

1. He prays for the righteous cause.

2. In a righteous spirit.

3. On the ground of a righteous character.

4. On the ground of righteous conduct.

Now we come to other grounds upon which he urges God to save him.

I. THE COMPASSION OF GOD for THOSE WHO URGENTLY CRY TO HIM. (Vers. 6, 7.) He calls, because God answers him; and now he calls for a special exercise of mercy, because God saves those who find their refuge or safety in him. He was pleading according to the law of God's nature, and had, therefore, a Divine warrant for his prayer: "If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us."

II. HIS IMMINENT DANGER. (Vers. 7, 9, 11, 12.) His enemies were the enemies of God (ver. 7). They would destroy him (ver. 9). They haunted his footsteps everywhere (ver. 11). He prays, therefore, to be protected as the pupil of the eye is protected, as if he could not be kept secure enough; and to be hidden under the shadow of the Divine wings, where no danger could reach him (Deuteronomy 32:10, 11).


1. Their want of sympathy and their hard pride. (Ver. 10.) "Enclosed in fat" is equivalent to "have become gross and unfeeling."

2. They were bent on the ruin of others as well as themselves. (Ver. 11.)

3. They were fierce and furious in their wicked efforts. (Ver. 12.) Like a greedy lion, like a young vigorous lion lurking in his lair.


1. They were satisfied with the treasures of this world. With children and worldly substance, and were not worthy, therefore, to triumph over the righteous cause and the righteous persons. Deliver me from such worldlings.

2. He was seeking after the highest good. (Ver. 15.) "In righteousness let me behold thy face; let me be satisfied, when I awake, with thine image." An echo of the eleventh verse of the previous psalm, which reveals his trust in a future life. "There is an allusion probably to such a manifestation of God as that made to Moses (Numbers 12:8), where God declares that with Moses he will speak "mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches, and the similitude [rather, 'form,' the same word as here] of Jehovah shall he behold." - S.

They are enclosed in their own fat.
To be enclosed in one's own fat means, to be wrapped up in pride and self-complacency, the effect upon weak and ignoble minds of worldly prosperity. It is said that the purely fatty part of the human body, having no nerves of sensation, can be cut and pierced without experiencing any feeling of pain. Hence, in Scripture phraseology, to say that one's heart is fat is equivalent to saying that it is hard and insensible, void of moral and sympathetic feeling, and not to be affected by any appeal made to its pity or sense of right. It indicates a haughtiness and insolence of bearing towards others that is hard to be borne by them. Alas! how a little worldly elevation sometimes changes the best character into the worst! How it renders the man proud who before was humble; the heart hard that before was tender! To be delivered from the tender mercies of mindless wealth, of heartless prosperity, is a prayer that others besides David have breathed into the ear of Divine mercy. It was not the poor, but the proud, the prosperous, the high in station and authority, that chased the Son of God to the Cross, and reviled Him there.

(David Caldwell, A. M.)

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