Summary: David’s life is an open book before God. He hides nothing. We sometimes try to hide things from God. We need to try to live our lives as an "open book" before God.
August 17, 2003
Title: Psalm 17 My Life Is An Open Book
Text: Psalm 17:1-15
Things you should never say once without thinking twice:
- It’s no trouble at all.
- I love dogs.
- We have plenty of room.
- Call me any time.
- Is there anything I can do?
- My husband is a doctor/lawyer/accountant.
- I’ll try anything once.
- Of course, bring the kids.
- Why don’t you stay for dinner?
- If worst comes to worst, you can use mine.
- Don’t worry -- there’s more where that came from.
- Over my dead body, you will!
(Source: Hester Mundis, Powermom, Congdon & Weed.)
Psalm 17 is a prayer. Not only is it listed as a prayer in the title, but you can see throughout the text how David appeals directly to God.
And, as we study this prayer, you will see that David’s life is an open book to God.
I hope that through this study, we to can be an open book before God.
1. David’s Desire Psalm 17:1-5
David desires to be a man of integrity before God.
In these 1st five verses, David takes great pains to express his integrity before God.
Right off the bat, he says, "Hear, O Lord, my RIGHTEOUS plea"
He indicates that his prayer "does not rise from deceitful lips"
He acknowledges that God has thoroughly examined (probed and tested) him.
He acknowledges that his integrity is true; both in word AND deed.
And I dare say, that the mouth is one of the big culprits when it comes to committing sin.
With our mouths, we are quick to judge...to cut...to hurt...to lie...to gossip...to tear down.
Did you know that the average person spends one-fifth of his or her life talking?
If all of our words were put into print, in ONE day, those words would fill a 50-page book,
In ONE year’s time, the average person’s words would fill 132 books of 200 pages each!
Think about that for a moment...
What if YOUR words were put into a book?
Would it have to be put on the FICTION shelf?
In an article in U.S. News & World Report, February 21, 1994, Page 67, it did a long term study of married couples.
They comparing what their relationships were like in the first 10 years of marriage.
They found that marriages of people who were happily married for many years...
versus those who were unhappy and got divorces...
that in those early years of marriage, the relationship were very similar..
they had a similar number of fights...
they both expressed the depth of their love for each other when they were married...
many factors were nearly the same...
but the ONE thing that stood out...
Couples who were happily married...only 5 out of every 100 comments were considered put downs.
Couples who later separated...had 10 comments out of every 100 that were put downs.
And as the years went by, the put down ratio got even worse from those couples who would separate.
Obviously this has ramifications within our relationships with our spouses...
but we also need to look at our relationship with other family members...
and with people within the church...
are our words building up?
or tearing down?
Are we ENCOURAGING?
or are we "DISCOURAGING"?
David said, "I have resolved that my mouth will not sin"
David says, "I have kept myself from the ways of the violent"
My steps have held to your paths"
It is important to have integrity in our words....
but it is equally important to have integrity with our actions.
I find David’s attitude amazing, here in these first 5 verses.
He basically opens up his life to God’s close scrutiny...
and he does it without fear.
I wonder if WE would be able to have the same openness before God that David does.
I’m inclined to believe that perhaps we would be a little nervous about God looking very closely at our lives...
at our words...
and our actions...
Is your life an open book before God?
Or are there parts of your life that you try to keep hidden?
Are we as willing as David to allow God to "probe my heart and examine me at night"
Can we say with David, "though you test me, you will find nothing"?
David’s deep desire was to be a man of integrity before God...
I hope that we have that same determination and desire in OUR hearts...
And I hope that we can get to the point where we feel completely comfortable opening up ALL of our lives to God inspection.
2. David’s Danger Psalm 17:6-12
David expresses to God that he is in danger.
He has enemies...
And when we have enemies...we can be particularly vulnerable to losing our integrity.