Psalm 17 is like many of David's psalms. He has enemies that are trying to destroy him. He wants God to save him. I wanted to see something different as I read this Psalm. This is what I saw.
David lived a godly life. He didn't speak evil of others. He always walked in God's ways and never strayed from them. He was praying because he knew that God would answer him. And yet......Even people who live good, godly lives have enemies and troubles.
David had enemies all around him. They were deadly enemies who were callous and proud. They were waiting for a chance to pull him down - like lions wanting to tear him apart.
As Americans we won't put up with such nonsense. If we have been wronged we fight back. It may not be an actual fist fight, but we can destroy someone on Facebook or Twitter in a heartbeat. We'll show them that we can't be pushed around and bullied. If it's bad enough we will call the police or better yet, a lawyer. We'll have them in a lawsuit so big they'll wish they had never messed with us!
This, however, is not the way of Christ. Jesus said, "If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them." Luke 6:29
“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.” Mark 9:50
The Apostle Paul gave us the same kind of advice when he quoted from Isaiah.
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
Bottom line: (Remember, this part is a conclusion that leaves out a lot of the connecting sentences and thoughts. You'll need to draw your own lines to connect the dots.)
In Psalm 17 David knew that he was innocent. He asked God to protect him from his enemies. He didn't have a lawyer or assassin on speed dial to get back at the wicked people surrounding him.
If we follow Christ's teachings we will respond with love and let God take care of any revenge on our behalf. If we strike back we lose our saltiness. If we show love then people will know that we are His disciples.