1. Did the Psalmist claim to be sincere in his prayers?
Yes: “Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned [deceitful] lips” (Psalms 17:1).
2. Why was the Psalmist ready to have his sentence [vindication; NKJV] come from God?
Because God has tried his heart and it as well as his mouth is clean: “(2) Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal. (3) Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress” (Psalms 17:2-3).
3. What kept the Psalmist on the right path?
“(4) Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer. (5) Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not” (Psalms 17:4-5).
4. Did the Psalmist have confidence in God hearing his prayers (in the seventeenth Psalm)?
Yes: “(6) I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. (7) Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them” (Psalms 17:6-7).
5. What place did the Psalmist seek to keep with God?
“(8) Keep me as the apple of the [NKJV “Your eye”] eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (9) From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about” (Psalms 17:8-9).
6. In what way did the Psalmist describe the pursuit of the wicked upon the righteous?
“(10) They are inclosed in their own fat [closed up their fat hearts; NKJV]: with their mouth they speak proudly. (11) They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth; (12) Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places” (Psalms 17:10-12).
7. What did the Psalmist want God to arise and do for him?
“(13) Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: (14) From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes” (Psalms 17:13-14).
8. Would the Psalmist be satisfied with wealth of this world or did he seek to be in the presence of God?
He would be satisfied in the presence of God, not with earthly wealth as the wicked had: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalms 17:15).
9. Did the Psalmist trust in God for deliverance and strength?
Yes: “(1) I will love thee, O LORD, my strength. (2) The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (3) I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies” (Psalms 18:1-3).
10. Being surrounded by death because of ungodly men, how was the Psalmist delivered?
Yes: “(4) The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. (5) The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. (6) In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. (7) Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. (8) There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. (9) He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. (10) And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. (11) He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. (12) At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. (13) The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. (14) Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them. (15) Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. (16) He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters. (17) He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. (18) They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. (19) He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me” (Psalms 18:4-19).
11. Did the Psalmist do anything to keep the Lord on his side?
Yes, he continued his obedience to God: “(20) The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. (21) For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. (22) For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me. (23) I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity. (24) Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight” (Psalms 18:20-24).
Had he disobeyed God, his prayers would not have been heard (Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 15:29, Proverbs 28:9, Isaiah 59:1-2, John 9:31, and I Peter 3:12).
12. What benefits are received by being merciful and pure?
God returns those same things to us: “(25) With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright; (26) With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward” (Psalms 18:25-26; cf. Matthew 5:7-8).
13. How safe are those who have high looks?
Not at all: “For thou wilt save the afflicted [humble] people; but wilt bring down high looks” (Psalms 18:27).
14. Did the Psalmist credit God for his ability to escape from darkness and the troop [army]?
Yes: “(28) For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness. (29) For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall” (Psalms 18:28-29).
15. For whom is the Lord a buckler [shield]?
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalms 18:30).
16. What evidences did the Psalmist set forth to establish that God is greater than any god?
“(31) For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God? (32) It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect. (33) He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places. (34) He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. (35) Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great. (36) Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip. (37) I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. (38) I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. (39) For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. (40) Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. (41) They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not. (42) Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. (43) Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. (44) As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me. (45) The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places. (46) The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted. (47) It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me. (48) He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man. (49) Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name” (Psalms 18:31-49).
17. How do we know that David is the Psalmist in chapter eighteen?
“Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore” (Psalms 18:50).
18. What does the heavens and the firmament [visible arch of the sky] show us?
God’s handy work: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork” (Psalms 19:1).
19. Does each day that passes declare God’s greatness?
“(2) Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. (3) There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. (4) Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, (5) Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. (6) His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof” (Psalms 19:2-6).
20. How does the Psalmist describe God’s word?
“(7) The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Psalms 19:7-8).
21. How does the Psalmist describe the judgments of God?
“(9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward” (Psalms 19:9-11).
22. Who is the Psalmist talking about in Psalms 19:12?
Himself: “(12) Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. (13) Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. (14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalms 19:12-14).
We know, from his own words, that he’s not discussing God having errors (vs. 7-11).
God does not err (Deuteronomy 32:4).
23. As the Psalmist talks about help in the day of trouble, what does he ask God to remember?
“(1) The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; (2) Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion; (3) Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah” (Psalms 20:1-3).
24. Did the Psalmist realize that God’s heart and counsel was greater than his own?
“Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel” (Psalms 20:4).
25. How did the Psalmist show forth that trusting in God is far greater than trusting in man?
“(5) We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfil all thy petitions. (6) Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand. (7) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. (8) They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright. (9) Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call” (Psalms 20:5-9).
26. As we begin chapter twenty-one, what impression do you get about this king?
His trust in God rather than his own strength: “The king shall joy in thy strength, O LORD; and in thy salvation how greatly shall he rejoice” (Psalms 21:1)!
27. Does the king think his gains are his own or from the Lord?
He credits God as the source: “Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah” (Palms 21:2).
28. Did God set blessings before the Psalmist?
Yes: “For thou preventest [meet –NKJV] ]him with the blessings of goodness: thou settest a crown of pure gold on his head” (Psalms 21:3).
29. Who does the Psalmist credit for his life?
God: “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever” (Psalms 21:4).
30. Did the king glory in himself or the salvation that God gives?
The salvation of God: “(His glory is great in thy salvation: honour and majesty hast thou laid upon him. For thou hast made him most blessed for ever: thou hast made him exceeding glad with thy countenance.” (Psalms 21:5-6).
31. What prevents the Psalmist from being moved?
“For the king trusteth in the LORD, and through the mercy of the most High he shall not be moved” (Psalms 21:7).
32. How comfortable should an enemy of the Lord be in reading Psalms chapter twenty-one?
If they enjoy death and destruction they’d be fine: “(8) Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies: thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. (9) Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. (10) Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. (11) For they intended evil against thee: they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. (12) Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy strings against the face of them” (Psalms 21:8-12).
33. Does the Psalmist desire to exalt himself or to exalt God?
God: “Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power” (Psalms 21:13).