Day 5: Psalm 5

Psalm 5: A Morning Prayer
Psalm 5
For the director of music. For pipes.
A psalm of David.

(1) Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament.
(2) Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

(3) In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
(4) For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; 
with you, evil people are not welcome.
(5) The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong
(6) you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest.
(7) But I, by your great love, can come into your house; 
in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.

(8) Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies—
make your way straight before me.
(9) Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; 
their heart is filled with malice.
Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies.
(10) Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.

(11) But let all who take refuge in you be glad; 
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, 
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

(12) Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; 
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.

You guys, I love this psalm.

This is God’s promise, that as we read and study His Word He will reveal Himself to us. 

When I read this psalm for the first time, it was just another psalm, and they all sound the same sometimes. But then I prayed about it and read it in different translations and studied what smart Bible people say about it; and WOW, now this itty bitty psalm is so much more.

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105

Let me share some thoughts with you…

King David knew the best way to start his day. 

How do you start yours?

My day is started with coffee and feeding the animals. And NO ONE better try to talk to me too much.

I don’t have little ones wrapped around my legs as I make my coffee anymore. And seriously, I am sad about that!! Although I do remember how hard those times were. Now it’s teenagers that are hard to wake up…and sometimes it’s nicer to not wake them up, am I right?

How do you start your day, my friend? 

God wants us to start it with Him. This psalm is another reminder of that expectation. God tells us in not so many words, "You want to start your day off right? Start by talking to Me!"

Sure, grab a cup of coffee, and let the dogs out first. But start your day with your Father in heaven.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly. (V3)

That is the New International Version (NIV) or translation of the Bible, check out what the King James Version (KJV) says:

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord;
in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee,
and will look up.

Wow, right?

The Hebrew term used for “lay before you” or “direct unto thee” is something like arranging the morning sacrifice on the altar. I can imagine this was done with great care and preparation and thought. David says this is how we pray to God. That we take the prayers and carefully lay them out and then WE LOOK UP!

I picture my daughter tying her shoes for the first time then looking up at me, 

“Momma, look, I did it!”
Believe me, baby, I was watching the whole time.

Isn’t our God a good father? Isn’t He watching us tie our shoes? Isn’t He watching us lay our prayers upon that morning altar?

Sweet friend, rest assured He is watching over you with love in His eyes.

Charles Spurgeon, that 19th century preacher that I love to quote (he has good quotes) says, “Prayer should be the key of the day and the lock of the night.”

Lay your prayers at the altar in the morning and look up at your Father knowing He hears you and will answer.

The verses in the middle, at first glance, appear to be angry curses aimed against the surrounding enemies of Israel. Verses like these can sometimes make a Christ follower cringe. But I've learned that when I find myself cringing over God’s Words in the Bible, I need to dig deeper for understanding. Verse 10, for example, doesn’t seem very Jesus-like, does it?

Jesus expected something very different from us...

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:43-45

When Jesus came to this earth, He re-taught us God’s expectations, the Law, and what is required to be Children of God. Therefore, these “words in red” are now our path.

But why would David call curses down upon his neighbors? Why would he not want them to turn from their wicked ways? We have to remember that Israel lived in constant fear of attack from all sides, and, if you study current events, they still do. But during king David’s time, they were always vigilante, always cautious, always fearful and for good reason.

I personally don’t believe that this part is only a calling down of curses. Could this be just a prayer of a frustrated and worried king?

“God help me! God those people are crazy and they’re trying to hurt my family again! SMITE THEM ALL!”

Whatever the reason behind David’s words, what we can take away from this psalm is to cry out to God. Carefully lay those requests at His altar and look up, expect Him to see you and hear you and answer you.

Okay, last thing. I uncovered a quote from that smart Bible preacher, Charles Spurgeon, and I have to share it! Hopefully it will make you smile, too.

In regards to verse 11, God calls us to "sing for joy, to rejoice in the Lord." We rejoice not because we're perfect and deserve God's grace, but quite the opposite. We can sing for joy because God loves us ANYWAY!

Here is what that sassy preacher says;

“Come, ye mournful ones, be glad.
Ye discontented grumblers, come out of that dog-hole!
Enter the palace of the King!
Quit your dunghills; ascend your thrones.”

And THAT is where we will leave this psalm, guys.

Quit your dunghills and ASCEND YOUR THRONES!

Father in heaven, let us not be discontented grumblers. May we enter your palace today. You are our King and our Savior and all that is good in our lives comes from you. Father, let us seek you in the morning, carefully lay our requests at your feet and look up to you expectantly. Hear us, see us, answer us, Father. Give us strength to love all who rely upon us today. Thank you for being our strength. Amen.

HExoxo

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