Take the time to read the entirety of Psalm 17:1-15, and then come back and read the following verse again:

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings…
– Psalm 17:8


Psalm 17 returns us to some more lamenting from David. I find this strangely encouraging, as we are often quite hard on ourselves in terms of our ability to grow in grace and spiritual maturity. I, for one, would really like to see more progress at a more rapid rate than I currently experience. The Psalms show us that while David was a man after God’s own heart, his circumstances were tough for long periods of his life, and his spiritual journey was often dark and seemingly slow to progress.

There is one verse in Psalm 17 that brings incredible hope, though. David pleads with God to keep him as the apple of his eye (v8). This means that he was already the apple of God’s eye. He was only praying that he would remain so. That is amazing!

David suggests that God protects his children like the body protects the pupil.

The apple was the ancients’ way of referring to the pupil. It was seen as the most precious part of the body that was to be protected above all else. David suggests that God protects his children like the body protects the pupil. High cheek-bones shelter it from incoming blows. Bushy eyebrows keep sweat from the brow from getting in. Eyelashes act like fences, keeping all unwanted intruders out, and eyelids can shut to provide rest and quiet.

God treats his children like that. He is like a mother bird standing, with his mighty wings outstretched, sheltering us chicks from harm (v8b). He has already proved this to us by allowing his Son to stretch out his arms on the cross to protect us from the harm of our sin and rebellion.

Are you struggling to know how God sees you today? Maybe, just maybe, like David, you are the apple of His eye. He has got you covered.

Singing as you plant

God keeps us as the apple of his eye because of his great love for us.

Why should God keep us as the apple of his eye? Why should he hide us in the shelter of his wings? The default position of the human heart is to think that it has something to do with us. Our background, our accomplishments, our pedigree, our reputation, our physical or emotional or intellectual or spiritual presence and giftedness. The default position of the church-planter’s heart is no exception, and in some respects we exacerbate the problem. But the Bible tells us over and over again, to reassure us, that he keeps us as the apple of his eye because of his great love for us. That’s all. And that is more than enough to quiet our restless hearts and to calm our anxious fears.


Father God, keep me as the apple of your eye. Thank you for the way that you protect us and care for us. Give me eyes to see the many ways that you are always doing this for us, and the ultimate way you already have done it through your Son. In Jesus’ name.

Ross Lester
Written by: Ross Lester on June 19, 2017

Ross lives in Blairgowrie with his wife Sue, son Daniel and daughter Katie. He is lead pastor and elder at Bryanston Bible Church and his current responsibilities include overseeing the teaching and preaching at BBC, and developing future leaders so that BBC can fulfill its call to be a multiplying church.