Night Songs- Psalm 17

“You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing.”

Is this an outrageous ego trip?  Does David really come before God and claim to be an innocent man?  We know he has a long ‘rap sheet’.  He seemed to thrive on violence.  He was a womanizer.  He murdered his friend in order to cover up the adultery he had committed.  What is going on here?

While these facts of his life are true, there are other facts that are just as true.  His songs reveal a man, tormented by his own mistakes, and by the evil and violent attacks from his enemies.  He strived to obey God’s will as he battled to protect his own people.  Almost every Psalm reveals confession, seeking forgiveness, fear, mourning and seeking.  Almost every Psalm also shows a return to trust in God and reliance on God’s power and work in his life. Almost every Psalm returns to praise.

While his issues are probably more extreme than ours are, he does what many of us do. In our alone time, our quiet time, or in our beds in the middle of the night, we hash it out with God.  We go over and over what we did wrong, or what someone else did wrong.  We cry out in frustration, maybe even have a little pity party.  However, at some point, we must leave it all at God’s feet.  Like David, we know that we cannot hide the worst from God, but that God also sees his creation through eyes of love. We acknowledge the truth of our own shortcomings.  We not only realize the power of the evil that is against us, we  also acknowledge the saving power of the Gospel.  We come back to his “steadfast love”.

We may snuggle under the blankets and remember that God keeps us ‘in the shadow of his wings’.  We trust that He saves us from our own sins, as well as from the Evil One who constantly seeks to annihilate us.  When it’s all said and done, we come back to the fact that matters. We keep our face and our feet turned toward the Lord. Every time, a renewed commitment to God will direct us as we say with David:

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” Psalm 17:15


  1. Good stuff!! You must lay awake all night!

    Terry E. Stine
    St. Louis Christian College



  2. Carol, you have such a way with words, an understanding of human nature, and a love of God. Thank you for sharing.


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