"My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped." Psalm 17:5
What an accomplishment David speaks of here. To slip is to face great peril. Let me ask you a question. Does this verse acknowledge grace or point to David himself? What do you see in this verse?
In the verses leading up to these words it would be easy to say this speaks of David's accomplishment. In verse one he speaks of his just cause and a prayer issuing fourth from lips free of deceit. In verse two David says, "Let your eyes behold the right!" In verse three David says that when he is tested the Lord will find nothing wrong. And through the testing he has purposed that his mouth will not transgress. In verse four David says he has avoided the ways of the violent.
In all of this I find myself wanting to acknowledge David's blamelessness. But I also wonder if the Lord is really the one whom David acknowledges for all of this? So is this of grace or a testimony of David's accomplishment alone?
Let me give you five reasons this is founded upon grace. First, David prays to God (v.1). He is both dependent upon Him and acknowledging his need of grace from God in doing so.
Secondly, left to himself David would respond like any other man. When sinned against he would respond in kind just as he does in 1 Samuel 25:13. But because of the word of God which is filled with grace David does not sin even though these violent men have trespassed upon this godly path. (17:4).
Thirdly, notice the words in verse 5, "My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped." Do you see the grace in that verse? David's feet have not slipped because he is on God's path. Does not the path need some recognition for this traction?
As a builder I would have fallen many times from off a roof if the product I stood upon was not adequate. Some materials kept me from sliding off even on very steep roofs.
The fourth reason this is of grace is because of something we don't always see. Psalm 121:1-3 says, "I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord... He will not let your foot be moved."
The fifth reason is found in verse three, "You have tried my heart". Heart issues are always testing our reliance upon God and his grace. Put me in a perfect environment and I may appear holy. But test my heart and then you'll know for certain if grace is there. And if I sin you will see how quickly I receive correction and return to the Lord.
For these four reasons I submit that David's boast was in the LORD.