This Psalm is one in which the Psalmist seems very confident in his righteousness. Partly this is the same confidence we’ve seen in other Psalms – the confidence of a believer (as discussed in last week’s sermon, August 22nd.)
But many students of Scripture believe that Psalm 17 was written in the context of 1 Samuel 26 (or possibly 1 Samuel 24) in which David spares Saul’s life because Saul is the king, the Lord’s anointed.
If you read 1 Samuel 26, you can better understand phrases like:
Psalm 17:4-5 (NIV) 4 As for the deeds of men– by the word of your lips I have kept myself from the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped.