Title: Righteous Prayer
Key Verse: 17:15
"And I — in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."
King David opens his prayer by saying: "Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea".
At first glance, I found that to be rather presumptuous, for no man is righteous. But as I read further, I see how he can make this claim. He says that his "vindication comes from God." Rightly so, as it was said of Abraham that his faith was accounted to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6) No thing a person does can make them suddenly righteous. No idea or theory they have about life can change their state of sin. Only by the blood of the Lamb can we be made pure, justified, and righteous. Vindication did come from God. This is the first step.
If the first part deals with God's part in this, the second must deal with King David's. And it does. In verse three, David says that God probes his heart and examines him, testing him. The Spirit shows us what attitudes, thoughts, and actions are wrong in our lives. It is our part to respond to these nudges and seek out God's grace actively through repentance. If we are lax, how can we meet God. He has come to the door, now we must open it. It is not a one-sided relationship.
How can we stay on the right path, then? How can we find God and follow him. David says in verse 4, "by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent" and in verse 5 that "my steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped." The answer is to keep in God's word. By clinging to God's word, and hold fast to the Word, we will not be lost. It is when we venture out on our own that we fall.
After all of this, David can be sure that God will hear him. God has shown that he hears the sincere and humble heart's cry to Him.
And David has much to cry aloud about. He is assailed on all sides by raging enemies. It is terrifying and David's heart is heavily weighed down. He asks that God save him from his enemies through much of the latter half of this Psalm, crying, "hide me in the shadow of your wings". He asks for God's help not because he feels as though he deserves it, but so that God might be glorified. "Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes."
The Psalm ends with the hope of seeing God face to face after death. King David knows that only holy things can approach God -- so he must also be made holy to meet God. And he knows that this righteousness is from God, a free gift that a humble and joyful heart can accept. David is assured of this hope. It is not somebody else who will get to see God. "And I—in righteousness I will see your face". With this hope, King David can end the Psalm, end his prayer, and be still to wait on God's salvation.
One Word: In righteousness I will seek and see God