Wednesday, March 13        Psalm 17            Rev. Steve Heyduck

Listen to what’s right, Lord; pay attention to my cry! Listen closely to my prayer; it’s spoken by lips that don’t lie! My justice comes from you; let your eyes see what is right! You have examined my heart, testing me at night. You’ve looked me over closely, but haven’t found anything wrong. My mouth doesn’t sin. But these other people’s deeds? I have avoided such violent ways by the command from your lips. My steps are set firmly on your paths; my feet haven’t slipped. I cry out to you because you answer me. So tilt your ears toward me now— listen to what I’m saying! Manifest your faithful love in amazing ways because you are the one who saves those who take refuge in you, saving them from their attackers by your wrong hand. Watch me with the very pupil of your eye! Hide me in the protection of your wings, 9 away from the wicked who are out to get me, away from my deadly enemies who are all around me! 10 They have no pity; their mouths speak arrogantly. 11 They track me down— suddenly, they surround me! They make their plans to put me in the dirt. 12 They are like a lion eager to rip its prey; they are like a strong young lion lying in wait. 13 Get up, Lord! Confront them! Bring them down!
Rescue my life from the wicked— use your sword! 14 Rescue me from these people— use your own hands, Lord! Rescue me from these people whose only possession is their fleeting life. But fill the stomachs of your cherished ones; let their children be filled full so that they have leftovers enough for their babies. 15 But me? I will see your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be filled full by seeing your image.

Worship is connecting with God. Technically, I suppose, worship is “ascribing worth to God,” or recognizing and acknowledging God’s goodness and greatness.

God is worthy to be praised! Worship is participating in offering the praise God is worthy of receiving.

Read today’s scripture, Psalm 17, from the perspective of this definition of worship. If this guy didn’t feel close to God when he wrote this, no one ever has!

Just look at verse 3! “You have examined my heart, testing me at night. You’ve looked me over closely, but haven’t found anything wrong. My mouth doesn’t sin.” Can you imagine yourself saying such things?

If you have ever really worshiped, you can. When you feel God’s presence, really feel God’s presence, it raises your confidence, your sense that God can indeed transform you.

Fully aware of God’s presence and forgiving, cleansing love, one might actually say some of the things the Psalmist says in this Psalm.

May you feel God’s presence this fully!

Prayer: God, help us to know, feel, and sense your presence, today and every day.