Click "play" below to hear me read the discussion, and the psalm.
Psalm 17 seems very concerned with rightness before God. The speaker wants to be heard by God because he is an honest person who will not lie.
Verses 3-5 ask God to test the speaker's heart to see if it is pure, and the verses also reference the fact that God communicates regularly with the speaker and keeps an eye on him. This person has decided that he will not do wrong, and he notes that God's word is what has kept him from being destroyed.
Verses 6-8 talk about why the speaker needs God to listen to him. He asks God to care for him as the apple of his eye and to hide him beneath his wings, and I really like this image of God as having wings, as we think of angels having.
Verses 9-12 talk about the speaker's violent enemies, people who are proud, greedy, and deceptive, like lions waiting for prey. In the final verses, the speaker asks God to deliver him from the danger these people present, and to give him peace and security in God's own presence.
1Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
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.
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.
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.
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are inclosed in their own fat: 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.
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.
15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.