Psalm 35:17

ESV How long, O Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their destruction, my precious life from the lions!
NIV How long, Lord, will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages, my precious life from these lions.
NASB Lord, how long will You look on? Rescue my soul from their ravages, My only life from the lions.
CSB Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue me from their ravages; rescue my precious life from the young lions.
NLT How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing? Rescue me from their fierce attacks. Protect my life from these lions!
KJV Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions.

What does Psalm 35:17 mean?

This type of question is not really a question, but an appeal for God's quick intervention (Psalm 13:1; 79:5; 90:13). David pleads with the Lord for rescue from destruction at the hand of his enemies. While David's prayer is a request, it also implies a level of certainty. David does not ask "if" God will save, rather he wonders when the rescue will come. His faith was strong, but his patience was weakening.

Psalm 22:20 makes a similar statement using much of the same imagery. David knows his life is "precious," both to himself and to God. He compares his enemies to wild animals tearing and attacking. In David's own life, he'd seen the dangers posed by predators such as lions (1 Samuel 17:36) but was able to overcome them with God's help.

Often, when a trial strikes a believer, it is hard to wait on the Lord (Psalm 33:20). But the Lord's timing often differs from that of His children. What we think of as delays are opportunities to draw closer to Him, to trust Him to fulfill His will, and to develop character and hope. The apostle Paul writes: "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 5:3–5).
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