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Calling on God

February Bible Study

In Touch Ministries staff February 15, 2024

Isn’t it nice to know that as God’s child, you are highly favored? David recognized he was “the apple of God’s eye.” But that doesn’t mean everything was perfect. As can be true of the Lord’s people today, David endured ugliness in human relationships; he even had enemies who tried to kill him. When we face serious conflict with others, divine protection is ours in Christ. But calling on such power isn’t something to be taken lightly. We should do so as David did—wisely and with much humility.

Illustration by Stephanie Wunderlich


Today’s psalm is one of several containing outcries about wickedness, plots, and cruelty.


Psalm 17:1-15


When is it okay to ask the Lord to deliver us from difficulty?

  • Patience, love, and gentleness are our obligation in difficult situations—and part of our nature in Christ (Gal. 5:22-23). But when a problem becomes not just irritating but truly dangerous, even the gentlest soul may reach a point where something has to give. David cries out to God that his cause is just (Ps. 17:1). Why do you think he opened his appeal this way?   

  • When we are experiencing conflict with others, it’s instinctive to think that we’re right, and we may go to great lengths to convince ourselves and others of this. In fact, the more we feel is at stake, the more difficult it is to be honest. With that in mind, explain the great accomplishment David expresses in the second part of verse 1. How easy, or difficult, do you find it to be honest with God?

  • In verses 3-5, David reveals three things he knew before asking the Lord to intervene: His actions were good, his intentions were pure, and God was satisfied with him. What does this tell you about the importance of self-examination, humility, and closeness to God as conflicts in life escalate?


Having taken time to be sure of his case and his faultlessness in the situation, David asks for God’s protection.

  • How do verses 6-7 reflect the paradox that God is always watching us, yet we must call on Him and share our heart in prayer? Through faith in Jesus, believers are children of His Father. Explain how calling on a parent after careful deliberation, as David did in this psalm, might strengthen a parent-child relationship—as well as one’s relationship with God.

  • Verse 8 is where David shows awareness that he is “the apple of [God’s] eye.” How does this scripture reflect his profound love, trust, and delight in the Lord? As you answer, consider your own relationship with the Father. Thank Him for His favor, and ask for help doing what deeply pleases Him.

  • Have you ever found yourself “speak[ing] proudly” (v. 10)?  How does this psalm make you rethink your own actions and attitudes?

  • First Peter 5:7 encourages us to be honest with God about our feelings, and Philippians 4:6 tells us to present our requests to Him. At the same time, Scripture tells us, “Power and might are in [God’s] hand so that no one can stand against [Him]” (2 Chron. 20:6). What balance can you find between these ideas? How do you think this applies to David’s bold petition in Psalm 17:13?


Our blessing is to find satisfaction in the Lord’s presence, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in.

  • Sometimes God protects us in danger; sometimes He removes the danger. It’s all part of His wisdom and authority over our lives. But calling on Him honestly is our right as His children. And He rewards us with His presence—a gift like no other (v. 15).

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