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The Back To The Psalms Series

by Layman RandyP


A Prayer of David.

(page last updated: November 7th 2019)

Today's Text:

kjv@Psalms:17:1 @ Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

kjv@Psalms:17:2 @ Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.

kjv@Psalms:17:3 @ 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.

kjv@Psalms:17:4 @ Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

kjv@Psalms:17:5 @ Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

kjv@Psalms:17:6 @ I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

kjv@Psalms:17:7 @ 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.

kjv@Psalms:17:8 @ Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,

kjv@Psalms:17:9 @ From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.

kjv@Psalms:17:10 @ They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

kjv@Psalms:17:11 @ They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;

kjv@Psalms:17:12 @ Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.

kjv@Psalms:17:13 @ Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

kjv@Psalms:17:14 @ 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.

kjv@Psalms:17:15 @ As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Today's Audio Commentary: "Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause"

Psalm:17 Reading

Part 1 Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause

Part 2 "Hear the right, O LORD"

Part 3 "Let Thine Eyes Behold the Things that are Equal" Part 1

Part 4 "Let Thine Eyes Behold the Things that are Equal" Part 2

Part 5 "As for Me, I Will Behold Thy Face in Righteousness"

Psalm:17 "Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause" (commentary as one file)


Today's Commentary Outline: "Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause"

  1. Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause: 17:

  2. Quoted resource: strongs 'H6664'

    H6664 @ צדק tsedeq tseh'-dek From H6663; the right ({natural} moral or legal); also (abstractly) equity or (figuratively) prosperity: - X {even} (X that which is altogether) just ({-ice}) ([un-]) right (-eous) ({cause} {-ly} -ness).

      • Picture = just cause and a prayer for God to consider it and assist it.

      • World is full of what people believe to be just causes. So many just causes, there are many strongly believed just causes that strongly oppose each other. Some just causes so strongly believed that there some people willing to die for them, or worse kill for them. How many of our human just causes do you suppose that God is willing to hear to consider and assist?

      • Perhaps there is a just cause that you strongly believe in and support. If I were to ask you what human just cause is just enough to carry God's endorsement and active assistance, each one of you would say this just cause (my just cause). See you've been able to sort it all out and have found a way to strongly justify it, just as has the person that opposes you, just like all of us have to one extent or another. Whose just cause would God stand behind?

      • Tricky thing is the concept "just cause". What exactly constitutes just cause? What exactly disqualifies one and not the other?

      • Nations go to war over just causes, some religions terrorize others over just causes, people are martyred over what others see as just causes, flags burn, people march, bullhorns shout, civil debate turns angry and threatening, friends become enemies, families are torn apart, all over just causes.

      • One might even expect when a teenager shoots down a classroom of teenage classmates that there is what the shooter sees as a just cause somewhere near the center of it.

      • So we can certainly see how easy it is for a just cause to become unjust or to not have been just from the beginning. Before we pray to God for Him to consider and assist our just cause (any just cause) we all better put that just cause to the test.

    • In the Old Testament we read the story of a people that were given a just cause from God and what they were humanly able to do with it.

      • We each are just as susceptible to the many human weaknesses pursuing just cause as was Israel (if not more so). Even if handed a just cause from God, it is well within our abilities to turn just cause on it's head, make it something wrong/unrighteous in God's eyes (not necessarily our eyes). Israel was often criticized by God for doing what was right in their own eyes.

      • It wasn't that long ago ( BackToThePsalms010 ) that we profiled the wicked, how the wicked derive power for inflaming the depressed of mind/situation, pitting one group against the other, asserting themselves into leadership, leading masses the directions that they want by the snoot of people's inflamed sense of compassion.

      • I know that there are many good people who firmly believe their chosen causes to be entirely just causes. They see themselves as being above being manipulated, inflamed by being made depressed of mind or situation. Ah, the heart is deceitful above all else. How many of us are actually above all of this?

    • What makes the psalmist's just cause different from all of this I believe is that he is trying (with God's help) to stay true to the just cause that God has given him.

      • He understands his human weakness. He is well aware of his ability to turn it sharply sideways so as to jackknife it. He knows that he is no match physically against those that oppose God's just cause and so moving forward whatever is left to happen, he puts that into God's hands instead of taking it into his own hands as most of us do.

      • For David the given just cause was to establish and rule over Israel (while God was yet preparing them for Messiah) with equity and valor and uncommon righteousness, that (for the most part) (by the Almighty's hand) was what he was able to do.

      • For Messiah the given just cause was to conquer death, atone for sin and vanquish it, to adopt unto Himself a liberated people, extend His divine goodness and heritage with them, in other words to make mankind whole once again. It was a just cause given Him by the Almighty One, He was sent to accomplish exactly this without compromise or corruption, and that is exactly what He (by the Almighty's Hand) was able to do.

      • For the Apostles the given just cause was to put all other just causes aside in order to live and declare Christ's tremendous accomplishment forward into the rest of the world. That (by the Almighty's hand) they have been able to do.

    • So we have to ask ourselves today: What constitutes a "just cause"? (In our eye?) (In God's eye? enough for God to consider/assist?)

  3. "Hear the right, O LORD": 17:1
    • Let me begin by stating that I believe that there exists but one valid just cause. (I believe that to be the just cause that Christ took upon Himself).

      • I believe that in this one just cause all the other separate just causes we attempt to do for ourselves are fulfilled and complete. (Human rights and equality, justice, poverty, world economic development, climate, literacy, education, etc...)

      • In a perfect world we would all live and be sustained and be directed by the spiritual rebirth + re-purposing, merciful forgiveness, transformation, lovingkindness, peaceable temperament, defined authority brought about by Christ's just cause and would have no need for anything other just cause.

      • But, this is not that perfect world. In this world there will always be those who will rise up against 17:7 Christ's just cause, oppress it 17:9, become deadly 17:9, compass the believer about 17:9. Inclosed in their own fat they will speak proudly 17:10 against it/us. Odd thing is that 17:14 suggests that these same men are in God's hands, that they have been given their portion by HIM in this life. (almost to say that God is using them to get to us?)

      • And we too are not a perfect people (even as believers). Look at how many times the Church has gone off to do a just cause of it's own without God and been reprimanded by HIM because of it. Is this to mean that the just cause of Christ is faulty? or that we and all our other supposed just causes are to fault?

    • Christ intends to work on each of us spiritually from the inside out, heal the multitude of ailments at their root cause.

      • In this world good citizens have to work from the outside in. They are not spiritual regenerate in and of themselves and so can only carnally approximate (counterfeit) spiritual principals.

      • The attempt is to engineer social compliance by imposing peer pressure, legalism, the perception of control and order and authority, social and economic incentive/disincentive, confiscate individual wealth and ambition for redistribution etc...

      • Human manufactured just cause seeks to win it's rightful position within this social engineering machinery. It seeks to alter public perception and common acceptability. And if frustrated in this attempt often resorts to labeling the opposition for slander, belittles the opposition with accusation and innuendo, even to the point of inciting riot/boycott/dehumanization.

      • We would like to think ourselves above all this carnal behavior but, look around you now at today's modern political climate, look around you in your school districts and community groups/on your high schools and college campuses/your community and state activists groups/your congress/your judiciary /your United Nations/your worldwide media and social media outlets. This is precisely where carnal just cause has driven all of us.

      • Here is the tell tale point to be observed about carnal just cause: no matter how much one particular cause succeeds in getting what it wants, what it gets is never enough, the effort for the cause goes on and on, and for the most part only intensifies.

      • I believe that it is at the confluence of these many competing, partially successful, intensifying just causes where the wicked derive their most sustainable power and authority.

    • In previous BackToPsalmsSeries commentary we have detailed what is meant by the psalmic phrase "workers of iniquity" (panting/vain exertion)

      • This concept is just as problematic in the big picture for group causes as it is for the individuals. (the body inherits the traits of the members)

      • This is not to say that Human Rights for instance is a merely a vain panting, no it means the way we intend to go about it is a vain panting, outside in/carnally instead of spiritually.

      • Well intended people can in fact exert themselves towards a perfectly valid just cause and yet the exercise of their most determined exertion come to the tangible output of a vain painting.

      • Vain panting can also be thought of in terms of what God spiritually would have been able to produce in Christ compared to the net product of what we were able to produce on our own without HIM. In comparison one tips the scales entirely the other amounts to vain panting (iniquity).

    • Included in this concept of vain panting we must certainly include the vain panting of Christians attempting to exercise Christ's supremely just cause via carnal means.

      • Christian Church history is replete with so many such vain pantings that a good many non-Christians reject Christianity outright because of it. (better to reject the person of Christ than to be associated with the buffoonery and duplicity of His often iniquitous followers; I guess(?))

      • There is no greater iniquity than this. And to commit this iniquity believing just cause is inherently on our side? Ah,just cause is indeed such a tricky thing.

      • If our Christian just cause becomes nothing more than our own selfish self righteous cause all prettied up in religious lipstick, this not only the greatest iniquity, it is the greatest of all sins.

    • So as we talk about "Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause" here in 16: today I want all of us Christian and Non-Christian to wisely search the truest meaning of it out.

      • I can only set the dinner table for myself and my guests. I cannot consume and digest it all for you by myself.

      • I too must be very careful not to carnalize any of this too much as to spoil Christ's perfect intentions.

  4. "Let Thine Eyes Behold the Things that are Equal" - Part 1: 17:2
    • There are plenty of other scriptures that we could go through to help us understand the differences between our very familiar approximations of just cause in the flesh and the rare/very unfamiliar spiritual form of singular just cause pointed to in the Holy Scriptures.

      • I do not intend this discussion today to be a full scholarly examination of these opposing entities, I rather intend this to be more of a wake up call to us all as to the very interesting likelihoods/consequences/possibilities.

      • This is a very dangerous time presently in human history I feel, in large part as a consequence of our mis-conceptions of just cause and mis-guided exertion and pursuit in the name of it.

      • I will utilize the a few of the concepts found Psalm:17 as an outline to expose ourselves to the broader scriptural truths. (This effort may take up two section of this commentary to get through)

    • Concerning prayer with the intention of being heard:

    • 17:1 Hear (hear intelligently) the right (right natural/moral/legal, just/righteous cause), LORD

    • 17:1 attend (prick up the ears) unto my cry (creaking/shrill sound)

    • 17:1 give ear (broaden out ear with the hand) unto my prayer (supplication/hymn) that goeth not out of feigned (fraud/craft/deciet) lips

    • 17:6 incline (stretch/spread out) thine ear unto me, and hear (hear intelligently) my speech.

      • Note: Twice it is mentioned hear (hear intelligently). God is to be treated as an intelligent being. There are a lot of human prayers at any given time going up to God the majority of which treat HIM as a giant candy machine (if you pull the right lever on HIM you'll get what you wanted) or a magic Genie (your wish is HIS command and HE has to do it because you are the one who temporarily let HIM out of HIS bottle). There are a lot of human prayers that go up to HIM that are not really meant for HIM (they are meant for each other, they are meant as a sign that we fit into this congregation or culture, to occupy ourselves with ritual and repetition, to give ourselves hope or we tell another that we will pray for them because we don't of ourselves know what else to do or because that is just what is expected). Surely God is intelligent. There are things that interest/concern HIM, things that turn HIM off, things that HE is looking to see, progress that HE is wanting to be made, goals and purposes in HIS mind to be met. Many see God merely as an energy, fill that energy with enough of your good thoughts and projections/visualizations of what you want things to be, add some self determination and persistence and then sooner than later this energy chest will be filled enough to make it happen for you (intelligence is entirely stripped from God). A non-intelligent God is non-conducive to valid just cause.

      • Note: That God is pictured by the psalmist pricking up HIS ears, broadening HIS ears with HIS hands, stretching HIS ear to better hear. This is not done on God's part because the psalmist simply says so (else everyone else would demand God's attention just the same), no the psalmist admits his prayer to be a shrill creaking sound but, because it is known to be something (despite the weary creaking) to be of particular interest to God. (in other words God's will has been sought out, HIS purposes considered, HIS previous actions and provisions recieved and accounted for, and this new heart felt supplication is known to be in continuing alignment with all of that) (Intelligent God seeks to listen an attend to intelligent prayers).

      • Note: the idea of the prayer (for a just cause to be considered/assisted) is to be made from unfeigned lips. (God has already had considerable personal effect having been previously listened to by those making this present supplication).

    • Concerning saints determination:

    • 17:3 I am purposed (plan) that my mouth shall not transgress (cross over)

    • 17:4 by the word of thy lips I have kept (hedge/guard) me from the paths (well trodden road) of the destroyer (violent/tyrant/ravenous/robber)

    • 17:6 I have called (accosting a person met) upon thee, for thou wilt hear (heed) me, O God:

    • 17:15 I will behold (gaze/perceive/contemplate with pleasure) thy face in righteousness (right natural/moral/legal, just/righteous cause): I shall be satisfied (fill to satisfaction/have enough), when I awake (abruptly awake), with thy likeness (something portioned/fashioned out, embodiment/manifestation of favor, similtude)

      • Note: it is mentioned that the paths of the destroyer are well trodden (many people blindly follow along with the many others that are blindly following along this most popular path). That is why there has to be purpose in the mind of the saint, a hedge of protection, a near accosting of the person of God so as to cling to HIM/so as to not transgress/so as to gaze and delight and contemplate the person of God/therein not to blindly follow along the trodden path. (there are many an enticing just cause strung out along the trodden path and yet just as many that have fallen to the destroyer)

      • Note: the possibility :15 of beholding "thy" face in righteousness (how wonderful we think it would be for that opportunity but, how fearful it would be actually if we were to be found in our just cause to be found on the wrong side of HIS righteousness).

      • Note: the importance given personal relationship to the person (not just the idea) of God and the importance of God's word (not just our perception our instinct) being central in the daily life of the saint and just cause.

    • Concerning God's previous actions:

    • 17:3 Thou hast proved (test metal) mine heart (center)

    • 17:3 thou hast visited me in the night

    • 17:3 thou hast tried (fuse metal, refine/cast) me, and shalt find nothing

    • 17:7 thou that savest (open wide/free) by thy right hand them which put their trust (flee for protection) in thee from those that rise up against them.

      • Note: the proving, the visiting, the trying, the saving all are nearly prerequisite to there ever being a valid just cause. We all have a sense of just cause (though that sense is most often spiritually immature and not yet fully developed). We all have deeps passions driven by our sense of just cause (passions largely unchecked and unbridled willing to do anything it takes, passions largely to be known by this just cause/to be successful at this just cause/to be identified by others as being successful at this just cause/to be respected (all these things that can easily be corrupted by carnal self will and carnal self ambition) (all these things that can devolve down to simply virtue signaling and not anything of worth or value to God))

      • Note: just like metals that the heart and therefore it's just cause and therefore the saint has to be refined, has to go through God's deliberate intense heat, rendered free of it's dross, has to be pounded and fused into something HE finds useful/cast into a acceptable form. It is not this from the outset/It becomes this through the masterful process. Very few of our just causes are born from this, they are born in the attempt to avoid + bypass all of this.

      • Note: the mention of the saints' fleeing to God for HIS protection from those who rise up against them. Just causes often rise up against their opposing/competing just causes, that is not to say necessarily that any of these are above any other, it is to say that this is what they naturally tend to do. God is not intending to protect all just causes from rising up against each other, HE is intending to hold off those who are intending to rise up against HIS own cause. (which brings up the odd point that often HE actually sets up the saints of HIS just cause to suffer this rising against them just as HE did with HIS Christ. Not so that they would suffer but, so that in these they would be strengthened and perfected)

    • Concerning God's future actions (what the saint is hoping for as an outcome):

    • 17:2 Let my sentence (verdict favorable/unfavorable) come forth from thy presence (face);

    • 17:2 let thine eyes behold (gaze/contemplate with pleasure) the things that are equal (prosperity/concord/straight)

    • 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings

    • 17:5 Hold up (sustain) my goings in thy paths (track/rampart/trench), that my footsteps slip not

    • 17:7 Shew thy marvellous (distinguished/different) lovingkindness

    • 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down

    • 17:13 deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword

      • Note: the importance is given to what God thinks and judges (not ourselves or what other people (carnal just causes) think). It comes from HIS face, HIS eyes, HIS wings, HIS distinguished loving kindness.

      • Note: the apple of God's eye is a tricky concept. God is said not to be a respecter of persons, therefore HIS desire must be towards HIS son first and foremost and then those who are in the process of being conformed to the desirable image of HIS son (those whom HE has called out and is gathering unto HIS son). Our good works (think of as achievements while pursuing a just cause) as seen previously amount at best to filthy rags compared to HIS, at worst (or as typical) they amount to works of (vain exertion) iniquity.

      • Note: that it is not the saint that is being called upon to put down the wicked and thus deliver himself, it is God that is being called upon for this. The saint in fact is so vulnerable in this journey as to require the sustaining of God in order to keep him/her on track and not slipping.

    • I will have to break off the rest of this outline into another full section but, with as much input about just cause from the psalm as we've already considered:

      • I'd like us to look around us currently in this day and age at all of these human based just causes and ask these kind of spiritual questions. (are these current just causes any of this? do they operate in this fashion? are they this respectful and considerate of God, are they introspective to the nearly of fault and humility? are they this equally cautious concerning both the justifiable ends and the means? are they in concord to the interests of God placed upon the person and just cause of Christ?). If so, how so? If not, why not? If so right now, then how much longer, and because of what? because of whom?

      • The next part of the outline will not be as flattering to any of us. Perhaps we should pause for a moment to catch our breath and digest what we have already talked about?

  5. "Let Thine Eyes Behold the Things that are Equal" - Part 2: 17:2

      • Remember the context here in 17: (The saint is praying for Jehovah to hear his just cause and assist). We have to realize that Jehovah is only going to perk up HIS ears and respond to things that are in evenness/concord/straightness/agreement with HIS own. Jehovah will be the judge of that evenness, not man. "Let my sentence (verdict) come forth from thy presence (faces)" 17:2

      • It would be wise of us to keep God's face in the center of our cause at all times start to finish. Sadly this is seldom done. In fact it is of very little concern to any of our many just causes today. The thought of God judging anything we would say or do in pursuit of our self determined just cause is adverse to our self righteous sensibilities.

      • In one sense we are all wonderfully made in the image of God with the sense of moral right, the hunger to make what is morally wrong right, the willingness to put ourselves to the task/fight to see that what we see as being right rightly becomes so.

      • In another sense we are all fallen creatures, sinners, very much capable of corrupting even the purest sense of moral right. And by corrupting I don't mean necessarily that we turn it upside down and do exactly opposite, I mean that we make it less than it should be, we make it our own, that we dilute or pollute it, take spiritual principals and merely approximate them with our flesh.

      • Regarding God's judgment of the nation of Israel it was once said kjv@Ezekiel:18:25 "Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?". The proof of Israel's way being unequal was the desperate situation they had dug themselves into. The proof of God's evenness was that though they wanted HIM to simply deliver them without judging them, which HE would be willing to do so only if they would simply repent. (they were not)

      • I wonder if our objection to God's judgment isn't rather our aversion to repentance.

      • I ask of you today to survey the present social and political landscape and tell me whether we haven't dug ourselves into a similar pit or not as well?

    • "I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.." 17:3

      • To not transgress (cross over) the fine line between God's just cause and our lesser just causes doesn't at all come naturally; it does take a firm resolution. (I don't see that happening today in the majority of cases)

      • However it also takes so much more than whatever firm resolution we can provide on our part: 17:5 "Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not". (See there are so many people that unless they are immediately struck down with lightning believe that they haven't yet crossed any line nor do they need any guiding "in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not")

      • I'm sorry to say that scripturally it rarely ever happens that way.

    • Look at what is said 17:14 about the position and standing of types of men most concerning to the saint that he would be asking for God's deliverance from:

    • 17:14 From men (adults) which are thy hand (open hand (indicating power/direction)), O LORD (Jehovah)

    • 17:14 from men (adults) of the world (life gliding swiftly/fleeting portion of time)

    • 17:14 which have their portion (smoothness/allotment) in this life (alive/raw flesh)

    • 17:14 whose belly (hollow) thou fillest with thy hid treasure

    • 17:14 they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance (overhanging/excess) to their babes (sucklings) 17:14

      • If you are expecting to see a ditch alongside the road littered with unjust men who have been recently struck by lightning so as to know which direction to go for safety, you're not looking at this issue scripturally.

      • Note: We prefer to think that a person is free to act as they freely choose, that they are under their own power and direction until they hand the power and direction over to God. In other words we like to make the logical distinction that one state is either true or the other, when in fact both states can be true at the same time, we can conduct ourselves having our own power and direction and yet at the same time (whether we choose to admit it or not) be conducted completely under power and direction of God. (this is believed by most of us to be true in the case of the saint, why then is not believed to be true in the case of the wicked/deadly enemy?)

      • Note: That the LORD here in whose hand all men are conducted is identified as Jehovah (no other possibility/not a elohim or plural). It is Jehovah's hand, giving them their portion, filling their belly, giving them an excess of substance/sons to carry on their name/sucklings to their sons. Jehovah is most gracious even to HIS saints' enemies.

      • but the idea here is that even these enemies are serving a purpose of God. Not "the" purpose mind you but, "a" purpose none the less. How much longer that purpose will be required before God turns to disappoint it and cast it down 17:13 only Jehovah knows. So it is for us to consider what purpose God's allowance of this means.

    • "I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.." 17:3

      • We see here in 17:7-12 the unjust workers rising up against the just, compassing them about, speaking proudly, setting their eyes bowing to the earth like a greedy lion.

      • The natural tendency is for us to avoid conflict, to make compromises to insure the peace, to follow the path of least resistance. Even if it means transgressing (crossing over) God's just cause we can usually find ample justification to continue onward, convincing ourselves that we are still on course yes and doing the just cause the ultimate good. (caution: there are those who believe that peace itself is the ultimate just cause)

      • Take for instance the example of this working against the Apostle Paul in his frequent missionary work. Paul was seen by other Christians as dangerous (causing riots, getting stoned, arrested etc...). Many Christians avoided Paul. (Paul would likely be sacrificed on the alter of compromise by today's Christian as a peace offering to the uprising mobs).

      • Take for instance the example of early twentieth century Germany. At the time leading to the rise of Nazism, Germany was reportedly 90% Lutheran. (how does a majority of Reformed Lutherans go from that to being used by the Nazi's attempting to fulfill Hitler's just cause and all of his human atrocities? and still think of themselves as devoted Lutherans? compromise? transgression?)

      • You see there is very much a need for a saint to be bold and valiant and uncompromising, to stand up for what is right no matter what the odds or consequence. Ah...but what is that right? How to go about doing what is right? So at the same time there is every danger that his/her feet could slip and he/she cross over the fine line of what was God's just cause into what now is merely their own just cause. (righteous as that cause might seem it is only now self righteous)

      • So when we say rising up, compassing about, speaking proudly, setting their eyes bowing to the earth like a greedy lion, we have to consider that more alarming than all the other faces seen in that crowd of unjust are the faces of those most of them that would be considered our allies.

      • This is assuming of course that we are even in the just role in this picture to begin with. (That is how tricky that all this just cause business is)

    kjv@Psalms:17:4 @ Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.

    kjv@Psalms:17:5 @ Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

    • Now I have given you a few illustrations from the Christian side of getting just cause wrong.

      • This is not to say that this is only a Christian issue. (many secularists act as if it is)

      • In the spirit of evenness we are all guilty of the very same thing. Our sin is that we do this in the name of God. Your sin is that you do all of this in the name of Mankind. Neither object is flattered in any respect by what we all keep doing.

      • 17:9 "The wicked that oppress (be burly/ravage, destroy/rob/spoil utterly) me". Can't we both admit towards each other we both have been exactly this? at one point or another (if not all the time)?

      • 17:9 "my deadly enemies, who compass me about". Are the ways that I have treated you and the way that you have treated me any different?

      • I will make one exception to this however, there have been occasionally a saint or two among all of us that we both have treated contemptibly. Somehow we both justified what we did. Somehow we both have to answer for it

  6. "As for Me, I Will Behold Thy Face in Righteousness": 17:15
    • There are two contrasting images provided in 17: that will help me to sum up my commentary today on just cause:

      • 17:15 "As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness" and 17:4 "..the paths of the destroyer"

      • There are men/woman that take a look at all the ills of this world and determine that is the social order of this world has to change.

      • There are men/women that take a look at all the ills of this world and determine that is the heart of man that has to become more Christ like.

      • One of those groups seeks to break with the current order, challenge everything about it, stretch it beyond it's somewhat flexible limits. Because it is patriarchal, stretch it to where it snaps in order to recollect it as matriarchal. If it is monogamous, stretch it to where it snaps, predominately heterosexual snap, capitalist snap, representative republic snap, individual rights snap, religious snap, family based snap. The object seems to be to pull it in so many directions at once so as to break it in order to reform it into something more approaching the world as they would like to see it.

      • The other group says we could go through all of that, make this world something entirely different and still be plagued with the same exact inherent human deficits. In other words world social order does not make the man what he is nor can it correct it, the fallen nature of man makes for the world social order.

      • We are back to outside in verses inside out. We are back to law and government and central authority, peer and social pressure, behavioral incentive and disincentive, the perception of collective force and majority verses the liberating work of Christ set forth in His death and resurrection bringing about the spiritual rebirth of the man's missing parts bringing the man into a closer union and conformity to the image of God's Son Jesus Christ.

    • Another key phrase that will help me to summarize: "I shall be satisfied" 17:15

      • We all agree that there is something desperately wrong in the world, something that has to be changed. The question really is "changed by who"? It is also "at what point will the heart of man ever be satisfied"?

      • At what point will those who seek to stretch and break the current order so to reformulate it into their own Utopian image be satisfied in their hearts?

      • Can the heart of man ever be satisfied? Isn't that the proof of the hearts brokenness (incompleteness)?

      • Who is to say if we break with this current world order that we will ever get any form of world order back? Isn't the definition of destruction?

    • So in summary: I have raised more questions than answers perhaps today. (Questions are good and so to is the search for their answers) (I do not presume to have all of these answers but, I am beginning to sense where to go first to find them)

      • The title given this commentary on Psalm:17 was "Scriptural Guidance on Just Cause"

      • As I said before I believe that the psalmist here is showing us an approach to just cause that is different. He understands his human weakness. He is well aware of his ability to turn it sharply sideways so as to jackknife it. He knows that he is no match physically against those that oppose God's just cause and so moving forward whatever is left to happen, he puts that into God's hands instead of taking it into his own hands as most of us do.

      • We have also seen the importance that he gives to "the word of thy lips" and his resolute firmness that "that my mouth shall not transgress"

    • Perhaps the biggest scriptural guidance given to us in this psalm is the phrase "Thy Face" 17:15 dict:strongs H6440 = face plural

      • Idea = multiple faces, the expressions of which, the visible indication of one's feelings and intents, from which to true character of a person is read and learned from.

      • When considering the singular just cause of Christ, it's goal is to one day bring us into this position of seeing and being familiar with "thy face(s)". Once in this position before God all these other human perceptions of just cause will dissolve. "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness". 17:5

    kjv@1John:3:2 @ Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

      • You can imagine the advantage the disciples of Jesus had over the rest of us having seen the face of Jesus? Can you see the historical impact that this familiarity made upon their remaining lives?

    kjv@John:14:8 @ Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

    kjv@John:14:9 @ Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

    • "I will behold thy face in righteousness (that which is altogether just)" 17:15 (same word as just cause)

      • How will we be brought to where we will behold? (by Christ's singular just cause)

      • What will we see the moment we awaken? (the altogether rightness of Christ's singular just cause)

      • How then will we be affected? (we will awake with thy likeness)

    • What are we to do during this preparation of that blessed event?

      • Like the psalmist we boldly fight for His singular just cause but, at the same time we fight the human tendencies within ourselves that often pull our fight for His just cause down.

      • We boldly fight for His just cause on the same battlefield where the others are fighting to win their own causes, not to battle against but to love them towards the better understanding of Christ's. To willingly take upon us the wounds and scars and hardships encountered as did Christ (from us) being strengthened in His word and presence. To prayerfully seek His ear/attending and see His face full of so much life altering deep expression.

    • Now as to where many just causes (even many Christian just causes) go astray is that the face of Jesus Christ is not being sought nor is it even familiar.

      • Instead it is the cause becomes the face. The human effort becomes the face. The Church and it's saints become the face. (I can almost see the scowl on Christ's eyebrows as He is saying "hey guys...over here...I am over here...come back over here and pay attention.")

      • As a result we become interested in putting the causes' best face forward, we often end up having to retreat to save face or push back to guard it's face (the causes face not Christ's).

      • Other people look upon the image that the Church is trying to project of it's self and are left wondering how that is any different from the image of their own just cause that they are trying to project.

    • The image that is Christ's is different in these important aspects:

      • First, it seeks to work from the inside out. Man (all men) have to be awakened/quickened spiritually. There has to be a brand new living connection with the person of Jesus Christ.

      • Second, the human heart must be retooled and empowered in order for it to actively and consistently and effectively mortify sin.

      • Third, this regenerated man must be put on a course of actively setting apart/sanctification to separate him from the previous dead works and influences that he has been all too familiar with previously.

      • Fourth, we must grow a sense of trust towards the unknown and the uncharted and the unexpected, a trust centered on God's will and provision alone even when that will and provision is not yet fully intellectual or instinctual.

      • You can already see how these inside outward necessities are only deliverable by the person of Christ. Hopefully now we better see that being brought back into full relationship with Jesus Christ is the ultimate just cause.

    kjv@Psalms:17:1 @ Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.

    kjv@Psalms:17:6 @ I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.

    ^ BackToPsalmsSeries

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