The Bible verse, Psalm 17:8, is one of those moments. A man is being pursued by his enemy that is trying to kill him and yet, he is confident in God’s protection and his relationship with Him. David knew he was the apple of God’s eye. What a wonderful faith we too can have, that is confident in who you are and who God is.
We dig deeper in this confidence in our free Bible study to see who we are and whose we are.
Knowing whose you are and who you are is so important. All around you is someone or something questioning your identity. There are job and personal status titles, usernames, and even numbers that are assigned to us for identification, but none of those can actually give us confidence. Every single one of them can be dropped, changed, hacked and stolen in some way or another.
Who you are should be tied to whose you are and bring a confidence that no one else can change.
Your identity and confidence can only be found in Christ.
Have you ever wandered through the Bible and come across a verse that makes you wonder how the one speaking has such a strong sense of identity? How can one speak to God so boldly in assurance of who they are and who God is, especially when they are under an enemy attack?
The answer is found digging through God’s Word and getting to know Him more and more. When you know Him, you trust Him. Trusting Him is being confident that He is God and you are His. It is faith.
An apple tree in the Hebrew language represented 2 things, provision and protection. An apple tree provided fruit for food and protection as shade. To be the apple of God’s eye not only illustrates David’s desire to be the center of God’s view, but also David’s perspective of God being his source of provision and protection.
David has one of those amazing faith relationships with the Lord. Though at times he struggles making great decisions, his heart was for God.
And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
That is the key to the relationship with God that is bold and confident in knowing your identity.
“A heart after God is willing to do all His will!”
Do you know who you are? Do you know the Lord and what He has done for you?
The Apple of God's Eye
How to use this Bible lesson
You may choose to read this lesson all at once, work it in the “Days” provided or divided it how it best fits your schedule. All of our lessons are designed to be read by the parent. Then you present your thoughts to your children as you have gleaned from your study. Use this lesson as a resource, with God’s Word being your Source of life information. Present information to your children at your pace and in their learning styles.
#1 Read through the lesson resource
#2 Glean the information that you want to relate to your children
• Who do you say I am?(God asking you who you say He is.)
• Who do you say I am? (You asking God for who you are.)
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Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings.
The Apple of His Eye
Psalm 17, is a prayer of David asking God for protection. Most likely, this was written due to David on the run from King Saul, who was trying to kill him. His prayer is a cry to God to remember him and hear him in his time of need.
Have you ever felt that way?
Have you ever felt like you were on the run from something and needed protection?
The “thing” can be a person, a situation, or even yourself and your decisions.The need to hide can be very real.
Notice how David pleaded for God to hear him. We all want to be heard and understood. David needs the Lord Jehovah to hear him.
One of the first things we can see in this passage is David knows who God is. He knows that Jehovah is a God who listens, but also a God who knows David.
How would you describe David’s relationship with God in this chapter?
Do you see the confidence David has knowing that God hears him?
What feelings or statements from David do you most relate to?
What stands out to you in this chapter?
Work on memorizing Psalm 17:8.
The Apple of His Eye Scripture
David even tells God in verses 3-5, that God even knows his heart, his actions and his words.
You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress. 4 With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent. 5 My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
David is stating that he is KNOWN by God from the inside and out. We know from other chapters in the Bible about that he knew God knew him and his heart.
The next section of verses from Psalm 17 give us insight into what David needed from the God who listens to him.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. 7 Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. 8 Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings, 9 from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
David needs God to protect him from his enemies. Now David had some legit enemies! There was a king with an army pursuing David. He had valid reasons to be on the run and seeking a safe shelter.
Verse 8 gives us the beautiful words of “keep” me as the apple of your eye.
The word “keep” has a couple of meanings in the original Hebrew language.
keep: to guard, protect, or to treasure up as in memory. To keep something means that David knew he was already there. He didn’t say, “let me be” the apple of your eye, he believed he already was! “Keep me there!”
Then David uses the phrase, “as the apple of your eye.” That phrase is not just an old cliche or saying from Shakespeare or other poets. This was David the psalmist and poet using terms that give details into his knowing who he was.
The apple of your eye is something special or a treasure.
The Hebrew definition directs the meaning toward the pupil or center of the eye, but it also means the deepest blackness. Which is a place many people are afraid to be.
Are you afraid of the dark?
What is it about the dark or dark of night that begins to bring up fears in us?
Maybe it’s because we can’t see in the dark, yett God designed our eyes to seek out light. As a room darkens, our eyes adjust by our pupils expanding to seek out light.
We may not can see in total darkness, but God can.
David continues his prayer to Jehovah with, “hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
To hide something is to be carefully concealed, but look where David wants to be hidden.
He could have asked God to hide him safely in a cave or home, but instead he asked God to hide him in the shadow of His wings.
A shadow is a defense or protection, similar to a shade from the sun. Whether it is a shadow or protection from the sun, both illustrations or meanings to the word “shadow” require a light source! You cannot have a shadow without light and the sun is a light that is so bright we need shade to protect us.
David knows that the best and safest place to be is tucked up under the presence of God. There he is protected. Like a mother swan tucks her babies in her wings, God is your safety.
When something scares you, being out in the open is not a good place to be. No one plays the game of hide and seek in an open field with nothing to hide behind. As a kid did you ever hide under the covers on your bed as a retreat for safety? As adults, we sometimes still wish the covers were an option!
David understood feeling of wanting to hide.He had been on the run from his enemy for a good length of time. He had several enemies through the years of his life.
Have you ever felt under attack? Like the battle will never end? Sometimes you can even feel surrounded.
What did David say to God that you can apply to your life and relationship with Him?
Did you notice that David knows he is not perfect and is aware of his own faults.
David knows God’s presence is with him. Do you?
He knows God’s ways are good and different from the rest of the world. He knows that obeying God’s ways are good. What area of obedience do you struggle with the most?
David knows that God will hear him and answer him. Do you?
God can rescue you from problems and an enemy attack. Will you trust Him to do that in your struggles?
Apple of God's Eye
Today is looking at other passages that demonstrate David knowing who He was who God was. This is a small portion of Bible verses that give us insight into what David asked God to do in the times he was from his enemies and how he saw his relationship with God.
Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; 2 my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.
3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 5 All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life.
Did you notice where David is putting his trust? Then he repeats it. But what is most effective in all of David’s confident expressions is no matter what he is fighting or the struggle upon him, he praises God.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise, 11 in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Some nights it can be hard to sleep. David says that he can both lie down and sleep…Why? Because God alone makes him dwell in safety.
Jesus provides you peace that transcends all understanding. Let’s jump to Philippians 4, where we can see how we too can have the same peace that David had. Notice the first word is “rejoice” which is another form of praise!
4Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
5Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Now back to David’s confidence.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.
He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. 20 The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all his rules were before me, and his statutes I did not put away from me.
The next two verses are such a confident statement David makes. Oh that we could all say these same words with boldness.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?– 32 the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Don’t you love that statement? “The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
Whom shall you be afraid?
Do you see God’s Word as a bunch of antiquated rules or do you see them as boundaries of safety?
We can look at a fence as being trapped or see it as a line of protection. It’s a matter of perspective. What are you focusing on and what is the purpose of the boundary.
God’s Word is many things in our life. When we look at Him as our safety, a stronghold or a refuge, His Word becomes a lifeline. His Word and prayer are a lifeline of communication to nurture a relationship with Him. He knows you! But do you know Him? His Word is how we know Him.
David trusts God because God keeps His promises. His Word is His promises to you. Do you believe that God has not forsaken or forgotten you?
Sometimes it is hard to wait on the Lord when we are in the middle of an enemy attack. But when we are confident in His protection and provision, we can trust that He has us.
To know Him is to trust Him. You cannot believe what you do not know and you cannot know who you truly are without knowing Him.
Make a list of all the names David calls God. What are some of the references he gives Him?
What are the things David knows God will do?
What are the things David knows God has done?
Who does David state that he is to God?
Do you have days where you feel an attack all day long? Are you aware that sometimes, an oppression or attack can hit your unawares? Take time to ask God to identify what the attack is and then dig into His Word for the refuge.
Who is trying to trip you up?
What is keeping you looking down in defeat rather than your eye on Christ?
David knew God would take care of him. Do you believe this too?
Will you be satisfied with His likeness?
Now think about our focus verse from Psalm 17:8. David asks God to “keep” him as the apple of God’s eye. In other words, “keep me there”. He already knew he was that to God and wants to stay there!
How would your day change if you woke up each day knowing you are the apple of God’s eye? You are!
Keep me as the apple of your eye
David in Psalm 17, is reminding himself and God at the same time that God will protect him. In other words, “God, protect, guard me and remember me, your special treasure in the darkness where you can see me. And hide me beneath your presence in the shadow where I am safe from my enemies.
David knew who God was and who he was.
But David also knew who his enemies were.
In the rest of Psalm 17, David tells God of the enemy that is after him. God knows David’s enemy very well. After all, if this is Saul that David is running from, he is the very man God allowed to be king over his people when they forgot that He was their King.
They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a fierce lion crouching in cover.
David is praying to God about his enemy saying he is like a lion.
You too have a lion of an enemy who would love nothing more than to devour you or make you forget who you are and who God is.
1 Peter 5:6-11
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Be watching for his schemes.
What does Peter say for us to do in preparation for this lion like enemy attack?
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God.
This is acknowledging that God is God in reverence and awe. Knowing who He is and who you are as one who bows as servants to His kingship.
Cast or throw all your anxieties on Him
Did you notice that he did not say some or part, but all your anxieties.
We have so much thrown at us on a daily basis that can wrap us up in fear, insecurities and anxieties. Those are very real God given emotions. He did not tell you that those emotions are sin, only what we do or allow them to do with us. He does however tell you to “cast” or throw them to Him. You see, your body was not meant to carry all the fears, insecurities and anxieties that we have. Those emotions and feelings can damage our bodies in many ways. We can become imbalanced or the stress can cause stress making us incapable of doing anything. That is why He tells us to cast them on Him.
There are very real emotions that we as humans have the ability to experience. Many are rooted in fear. They may be real emotions, but they are not always our reality.
We may fear being unloved, but the reality is we are loved by God.
We may fear being rejected, but we are accepted through the mercy of Christ.
We may fear being alone, but we as Christians are the house of God’s presence who is always with us.
There is an imbalance that can be environmental and hormonal in our bodies to make us anxious. Those require time, counsel, and possibly other methods for healing. But seeking and trusting God for help in our fears, insecurities and anxieties is always His desire.
His protection and provision can come in many ways.
The help of people who love you.
The right balance of rest and medication.
Why? Because He cares for you.
Be sober-minded and watchful.
Those two phrases are especially important. Be sober or clear headed. Sober in our English language can also mean to be clear of any other influence such as alcohol or drugs.
Watchful is to be alert. Be looking out and cautious of the enemy.
You need to not only know who you are and who God is, but you need to also know your enemy!
How does he work? What is he after? Why? Where is your blind spot for his attack? What does he look like in your life?
And better yet, what negative or critical thoughts about who you are have your allowed to convince you of your identity or ability Sometimes, we can be our own worst enemy.
David makes a statement in the last verse of Psalm 17, that we need to hold onto and remember.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness
Oh to be satisfied with the Lord’s likeness. Ah, but you can. Colossians 3, reminds us that before we knew Jesus, we used to live like the rest of the world, lost in sin. But now that you have followed Christ, you live according to His Word, with a heart knowing Him and who He says you are.
Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices
10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
In Christ, you are a new self being renewed in knowledge in the image of your Creator, Jesus.
You are being made to look more and more like Him. Will you be satisfied with His likeness?
Apple of God's Eye
How do you resist the enemy?
Be firm in your faith. That’s why it is vital that we know what we believe and who God is. What is faith?
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Faith is knowing and hoping in confidence even when we cannot see it.
Your faith in Jesus is what resists the devil and his schemes.
In this world, we are going to find areas and times where suffering is involved. Stand firm in your faith that God has not forgotten you. Resist the enemy in your firm faith that Jesus will restore, strengthen and establish you.
But this verse implies something beautiful without saying something in exact words.
“your brotherhood throughout the world”
Brotherhood is a family. This tells us that you are… being owned or part of a brotherhood throughout the world that is your family. There is strength in numbers! Being part of a bigger family helps you to not be picked off by the enemy as a lone straggler If you watch the Animal Planet or National Geographic, you know that the lone wildebeest or antelope or whatever animal is not part of a bigger family is a target for the enemy.
You are part of a bigger family, the body of Christ, the church. You are a child of God. He is your heavenly Father who loves, cares and protects you.
As the apple of His eye, you can rest assured in the shadow of His wings.
Reminders from Psalm 17- The Apple of His Eye
Who you are
Whose you are
You are the apple of His eye.
You are protected.
You are heard.
You are special.
You are loved.
You are not forgotten.
You are His!
He is God.
He is Light.
He cares for you.
He hears you.
He is your strength.
He is your protector.
He is your Father.
When the enemy tries to make you forget who you are and who God is, remember to pray, praise and have confidence in God like David.
Heavenly Father, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings”.
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