321 – Psalm 17 – Focus
Last time we looked at Psalm 17:13 and the first sentence of verse fourteen. I’ve included verse thirteen for context. I want to look at the remainder of verse fourteen (bolded) and make a few observations.
Psalm 17:13-15 (LEB)
13 Rise up, O Yahweh, confront ⌊him⌋.
Make him bow down.
Rescue with your sword my life from the wicked,
14 from men by your hand, O Yahweh, from men of this world.
Their share is in ⌊this life⌋, and you fill their stomach with your treasure.
They are satisfied with children.
They bequeath their excess to their children.
15 By contrast, I in righteousness shall see your face.
Upon awakening I will be satisfied seeing your form.
An easy read of Psalm seventeen reveals David’s petition for Yahweh to “rescue” him from his enemies. If you look at the end of the first sentence in verse fourteen you see the phrase “…from men of this world”. This tells you specifically who David is talking about as he goes on to describe what Yahweh gives them. But wait. Yahweh “gives” something to David’s enemies? Why would he do that? Is Yahweh giving something good to those who oppose David? Not necessarily.
Look at the contrasting information provided in verse fifteen. David says, “in righteousness” he will see Yahweh’s face. This is clearly talking about the end of David’s life as indicated by the phrase “upon awakening” in verse fifteen. In modern terms we would say, David will see Yahweh’s face in heaven. The “men of this world” are not so blessed. They only receive their worldly treasure while they are in the world. What good does their earthly treasure do them?
Matthew 6:19-21 gives us perspective.
Matthew 6:19-21 (LEB)
19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and consuming insect destroy and where thieves break in and steal,
20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor consuming insect destroy and where thieves do not break in or steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
I know none of us are the enemies of David as depicted in this Psalm. But maybe we should stop and use what we’ve discovered here to make a self-assessment. What is your focus? What is mine? Are we consumed by asking Yahweh to “fill our stomachs”? Is it our goal to have good families and have all we need with some leftovers we can bequeath to our children? Is it work hard our whole lives, retire and die? Is that a fulfilled life? Is that enough? While provision and family are not a bad thing, where really is one’s heart?
What if we were to truly pursue righteousness? What if our focus was not on the treasures of this world, but rather the treasure of heaven? I know there are wonderful rewards awaiting the faithful believer in Jesus, but I think the “treasure of heaven” is what David talked about. Being close enough to Him to see Yahweh’s face and behold His form “satisfies” David right now, and it will satisfy us as well. David has been enjoying his heavenly treasure for some two thousand eight hundred years. What about his enemies? They have been long dead, their full stomachs empty, their children long gone and their inheritance exhausted. They had their treasure for a moment, David has his for all of eternity.
Let me state it another way by asking a concise question. What truly is your focus in life?
Yahweh is worthy of all Praise, Worship, Adoration, Obedience, and Service!