One of the fun games of my childhood was “hide and seek.” The game is simple and may have a variety of names. One person designated as “IT” was at a sort of home base and with eyes closed counted to 100 by 5s, while everyone else ran and hid. With a warning of “here I come, ready or not” the designated person would begin a search for and attempt to catch his hidden friends. If the “IT” person could catch anyone before they got to the home base, he was no longer “IT,” and now he could hide. The goal was to arrive at the base without being caught. The game was a lot of fun, and we played it for hours. Life is not a game, and our God hides us and keeps us safe so we are not caught by the enemy of our soul.
There are two conditions in Psalm 17:8. One is keep me; the other is hide me. The writer David is asking God to do both. He does not want to get caught by the one chasing him. Let’s look at “keep me.” What does he mean and to what extent is he kept? David asked to be kept or guarded as the apple of the eye. We all guard/protect our eyes. It is never easy to submit for eye tests. We tend to pull back from that big apparatus the eye doctor uses to look at our eyes.
There is a guard about you today that allows no penetration of the enemy. David is not making an unreasonable request. On the contrary, it is God’s delight to protect His child. There is no breaching of the fold where He keeps His sheep. Lets learn to trust Him who alone has the watch care of our soul. Each of us has some understanding of the need to protect our eyes. We do not play games with the safety of our eyes. The keeping of your soul is not a game to God though it is His delight.
The second idea is “hide me” under the shadow of thy wings. No doubt you have seen or heard about the mother hen who gathers her little ones under her wing for safe keeping. The ability of God to hide us from our enemy is similar. The idea here is that we are covered as we are hidden and thus protected. We are covered with “the Blood,” if you please. There is great saving power in the blood as there is great keeping power. Psalm 31:20 states that the hiding takes place in the secret of His presence. Psalm 32:7 says “Thou art my hiding place thou will preserve me from all trouble.”
I am thankful for childhood memories but I am much more thankful for the keeping and hiding power of God. Ps. 119:114 “Thou art my hiding place….”