Psalm 5 - Intolerant Prayers
Experience true peace by praying for what God wants instead of just what you want.
Read / Listen
Read 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.
Listen to passage & devotional:
Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 10
Q. Will God permit
such disobedience and rebellion
to go unpunished?
A. Certainly not.
He is terribly angry
about the sin we are born with
as well as the sins we personally commit.
As a just judge
he punishes them now and in eternity.
He has declared:
“Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do
everything written in the Book of the Law.”
The 5th Psalm is known as the Morning Prayer, as it records David laying out his requests before God in the morning (v3). What a model for God's people to follow: to begin each new day by asking God to "consider my lament (v1)," and to "hear my cry for help (v2)!"
But notice what follows isn't a grocery list of all of the specific items that David needs help accomplishing as he begins a new day. Rather, David expresses a deep felt concern for the wickedness and evil that permeates God's good world, and he begs God to restore justice and righteousness.
David doesn't mince words, using harsh language in this beautiful, divinely inspired poetry. Those who have been with this Bible reading plan for awhile will recognize that, like so many of the Bible's prayers, this prayer fits the AAA prayer pattern:
David Acknowledges who God is:
v2 - My King and my God;
v3 - The Lord hears my voice;
v4-6 - God is not pleased with wickedness and will not welcome evil people;
v7 - God is loving, and welcomes His people;
v12 - The Lord blesses the righteous.
David Aligns his life with God's will:
v3 - In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly;
v7 - In reverence I bow down toward your holy temple;
v8 - Make your way straight before me;
David Asks God for what he needs:
v1-2 - Listen to my words, consider my lament and hear my cry for help;
v3 - I lay my requests before you.
We come to Psalm 5 today in the context of a warning, being reminded that God will not permit the disobedience and rebellion of man to go unpunished.
David's cutting descriptions of evil people not being welcome before God, and that they in fact are hated by Him (v4-5) because "not a word from their mouth can be trusted... and their throat is an open grave (v9)" seem out of place and extreme to our ears that are continually being groomed for tolerance.
You need to model David's visceral disgust for evil behavior, so much in fact that your primary prayer each morning would be that God will root it out of this world.
But don't let the prevalence of evil in our world steal your happiness! Be reminded as you begin each day that all who take refuge in the Lord will be glad and will ever sing for joy (v11)!
Finally, pray in hope. David prays this relatively short prayer to God, and then he simply "waits expectantly."
Think about what that means today: to not just wait, but to wait expectantly on the Lord.
Today, choose your prayer elements from the summary list above.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS:
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL:
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Acts 1