My Hope Is In Christ - The One Year Book of Psalms

My Hope Is In Christ

Psalm 17:9-15

9Protect me from wicked people who attack me,

from murderous enemies who surround me.

10They are without pity.

Listen to their boasting.

11They track me down, surround me,

and throw me to the ground.

12They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart—

like young lions in hiding, waiting for their chance.

13Arise, O LORD!

Stand against them and bring them to their knees!

Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!

14Save me by your mighty hand, O LORD,

from those whose only concern is earthly gain.

May they have their punishment in full.

May their children inherit more of the same,

and may the judgment continue to their children’s children.

15But because I have done what is right, I will see you.

When I awake, I will be fully satisfied,

for I will see you face to face.

In England John Howard is known as the father of prison reform. As an eighteenth-century county sheriff, he was appalled by the conditions of British prisons and resolved to make changes wherever he could. He traveled across England and then to Europe, to France’s Bastille, to the prisons of the Spanish Inquisition, and even to the lazarettos of Turkey. He found cells infested with rats and prisoners confined to live among the bodies of dead inmates. Smallpox, tuberculosis, and dysentery threatened his own life, but still Howard pressed on. “Trusting in divine providence,” he said, “and believing myself in the way of my duty, I visit the most noxious cells, and fear no evil.”

The verse that prodded him onward was Psalm 17:5: “My steps have stayed on your path; I have not wavered from following you.”

Howard became seriously ill at the age of fifty-two and wrote to a friend, “Every refuge but Christ is a refuge of lies. My soul, stay thou upon the Rock.” Later he wrote that he would like a short inscription over his grave: “My hope is in Christ.”

Because of John Howard, prisons began to be reformed, not only in England, but also throughout Europe. His death finally came as he was preparing to visit many of the plague centers of Europe. As he had requested, his funeral sermon was based on the last verse of Psalm 17: “When I awake, I will be fully satisfied.”

What others value, I resign,

Lord, ‘tis enough that thou are mine.

I shall behold thy blessed face

And stand complete in righteousness.


If you want to read more about seeing the Lord face-to-face, check out 1 John 3:2.

From the Book:

The One Year Book of Psalms cover image

The One Year Book of Psalms
By William Petersen, Randy Petersen, and Tyndale

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