“A Prayer When Falsely Accused” – Psalm 17:1-6

“A Prayer When Falsely Accused” – Psalm 17:1-6

We know nothing of the background of this Psalm except that it was written by David. It is very clear from the context that David has been falsely accused. David writes this Psalm as his response to these accusations.

A Prayer for Justice

Instead of making a public defense David instead turns to the Lord. He cries out to God for deliverance as opposed to looking to men. He is very clear in his prayer that he is not trying to deceive the Lord or trick God into helping him. He just wants God to act. He wants God to show the world that he is right. He wants it to be seen that he has not done what he has been accused of doing.

A Proclamation of Innocence

David tells God of his innocence. He knows that God has seen and observed everything in David’s life; David is confident that God knows his innocence. Even in the most secret recesses of David’s life there is not even a hint of what David is accused of.

A Plea for Grace

David now asks for God’s grace to keep him in the right; he needs help to respond in the right way. He has resolved that he is not going to sin with his mouth. When falsely accused our mouths can get us into a lot of trouble. We can begin to attack or accuse those who have lied about us. We can lose our tempers and say things that are sinful. David needs help in this area. So far God’s word has preserved David and kept him from violence. David acknowledges that it has only been God’s grace that has kept him from sinning. Because of this David is praying for more grace to keep him from sinning in response to those who are attacking him.

A Promise Kept

David is praying for one reason; he knows God will answer. He has a supreme confidence in God keeping His promises towards David. This is why he turns to the Lord. He knows God will answer.


What David does here we are incapable of doing in our own strength. Jesus fulfilled this Psalm in His betrayal, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. When God raised Christ from the dead it was His public vindication of Jesus’ innocence. It is only through Jesus that we can go through false accusations and not respond in kind.

Do you believe in Jesus?

Will you follow His example in how you respond to false accusations against you?


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