Psalm 5 Explained

Psalm 5

To the chief Musician with wind instruments (with flutes), A Psalm of David.

“Psalm 5”: In contrast to Psalm 4, Psalm 5 is a morning psalm (verse 3). The titles “my King” and “my God” (verse 2), are rich with meaning: David, through a king himself, is subject to another; and the Creator-God who made him is his personal God. The rest of the psalm describes the divergent dispositions of God toward the righteous and toward the wicked. The vivid description of David’s wicked enemies (verses 9-10), is worthy of Paul’s application of it to all lost men (Rom. 3:13).

Whereas the instructions to the worship leader (in Psalm 4), pertain to a stringed accompaniment, Psalm 5 is to be celebrated in community worship with flute accompaniment (compare 1 Sam. 10:5; 1 Kings 1:40; Isa. 30:29).

Psalm 5:1 "Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation."

“Give ear to my words” is an earnest plea for God to hear the poet’s utterances. This command is built upon the word for “ear”. It takes its place alongside of parallel requests that God would pay careful attention to the supplicant and his sufferings (Psalms 17:1; 55:1-2).

We see David crying out to God to listen and hear his words. He also says consider my meditation. We must see in this that, there is more than one way to pray.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing."

In the daily functions of one's life, this would seem impossible, but it isn't. This does not mean to keep your eyes closed all day long and speak words in prayer continuously. This is covered in David's words above which says, “consider my meditation”. We must have our heart stayed upon God. When God is listening and answering our prayers, many times He is answering the prayer He sees and hears from our heart. We see from the following Scripture that, God answers many prayers even before we speak them.

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."

This does not, however take the place of the prayer spoken with one's mouth. We are told in the following Scripture, that it is important to speak our prayers.

James 4:2 "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not."

There is even more ways of praying. Sometimes when we are praying, we do not know the exact words to pray. In this case we stay in a state of prayer and the Spirit prays for us.

Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

We see in all of this that, God listens to all of our prayers, whether they are uttered or not. We, like David, want to be assured that God listens and answers our prayers.

Psalm 5:2 "Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray."

“My king, and my God”: David may have been the anointed theocratic king on earth, but he fully understood that the ultimate king of all Israel and of the whole earth is God. For God’s conditional allowance for mediatorial kingship (see 1 Sam. 8:19).

There is a way to pray. We must pray to the Father in the name of Jesus. When David says, my cry, it is an urgent prayer. God hears the cries of His people. Notice in this verse that, David recognizes Him as his King and also recognizes Him as his personal God. Christianity is an individual thing. We must accept Jesus as our personal Savior. He must be our personal King. We must also pray every prayer to Father God. We are not to pray to any of the saints or angels. God alone should be on the receiving end of our prayers.

Psalm 5:3 "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up."

The voice of prayer (compare the notes at Psalm 3:5). Probably he refers here to a general habit of praying in the morning, though he makes a particular reference to his circumstances at that time (compare Psalm 55:17). The psalmist felt, doubtless, that while it was a general duty and privilege to call upon God with the return of each morning, there was a special reason for it in the circumstances in which he then was. See the introduction to the psalm. He was then surrounded by enemies, and was in danger, and it was only in God that he could hope for protection even for a single day. The propriety of looking to God in the morning by prayer commends itself to any reflecting mind. Who knows what a day may bring forth? Who knows what temptations may await him? Who can protect himself from the dangers which may encompass him? Who can enable us to discharge the duties which are incumbent on us every day? Feeble, helpless, sinful, prone to err, in a world of temptation, and surrounded by dangers alike when we see them and when we do not. There is an obvious fitness in looking to God each morning for his guidance and protection; and the resolution of the psalmist here should be the firm purpose of every man.

Notice here, the dedication of David. He says, I will pray in the morning. How in the world could David or any of us, expect to do God's will, if we have not prayed for God's instructions for that day, before we begin? Do we really believe He is our LORD? If we do, we will follow His instructions. The morning is the best time of the day to pray. Give God the first of your day. God knows we are sincere, if we pray before we start our hectic day. Notice also, that this prayer is not to be prayed amiss. This prayer is directed toward God. The disciples prayed in the morning and in the evening. We discovered in our study of the tabernacle, that the smoke (symbolic of prayer), went to heaven early in the morning and in the afternoon. Notice the confidence that David displays when he says, shalt thou hear. Why would he look up? The following Scriptures answer that.

Psalms 121:1-2 "(A Song of degrees). I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help." "My help [cometh] from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."

“Not … neither …not … hatest … destroy … abhor”: These 3 negatively phrased descriptions follow 3 directly stated affirmations. This reveals God’s perfect standard of justice both in principle and in practice.

Psalm 5:4 "For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee."

Sin, ungodliness; it is contrary to his nature, who is holy, just, and good. And to his will revealed in his law, which is the same with his nature; and sin is a transgression of it. God is so far from taking pleasure in sin, that it is the abominable thing which his righteous soul hates. Though this hinders not his voluntary permission of sin, or his decree of it. Which he has willed, though he does not delight in it, in order to magnify the riches of his grace and mercy in the salvation of his people. Nor is this contrary to the delight and pleasure which he takes in the persons of his elect in Christ, though they are sinners in themselves. And were so when he so loved them as to give his Son for them, and who died for them while they were yet sinners. And when he sends his Spirit to regenerate and sanctify them, and are after conversion guilty of many sins. For, though he delights in their persons, he has no pleasure in their sin. Nor is it consistent with the holiness of his nature to take pleasure in wickedness, let it be committed by whomsoever.

"Neither shall evil dwell with thee": That is, the evil man, who continues in a course of wickedness, and lives and dies in his sins. One who has no communion with God here, nor shall he dwell with him hereafter. But shall be bid to depart from him, whether he be a profane sinner openly, or secretly a wicked professor of religion. The sense of the psalmist is, that since they were evil and wicked men, that were risen up against him, and gave him trouble, he entertained a strong confidence that God would hear him, for himself and his friends, whose cause was righteous. And appear against his enemies, who were wicked and ungodly men. And this he grounded upon the purity and holiness of God.

God is holy. He cannot look upon sin.

1 Peter 1:16 "Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy."

God separates the evil from the good at judgement. There will be no evil in heaven. The wages of sin is death. All have sinned, but Jesus paid the penalty of death for our sin, when he took the sin of the world upon His body on the cross. We deserved to die for our sin, but Jesus became our substitute. There had to be blood shed for sin.

Hebrews 9:22 "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission."

Jesus shed His blood to make us acceptable to the Father.

Psalm 5:5 "The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity."

“Workers of iniquity” are those who make a practice of evil (14:4). This is not a reference to occasional sin but to a habitual, unrepentant life of sin.

In Proverbs, we read over and over about the foolish. They are those who do not regard the laws of God highly. We see the statement above (“thou hatest all workers of iniquity”). We know that the angels, who followed Lucifer instead of God, were thrown out of heaven with Lucifer. They made a choice. We also read about the fire and brimstone that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah. Satan did not send the fire, God did. The reason God did this is because they did not like God's plan for families and went to the unnatural use, spoken of in Romans.

Romans 1:26-27 "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:" "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

People who do not follow God's ways, have been spoken of as belonging to the evil one.

John 8:44 "Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

We, who are the family of God, have submitted our will to His will. Total rebellion against God brings His anger. If it continues, you will wind up in hell. Jesus is not just loving and forgiving, but is the Judge of the whole world. You either live for Him, or will hear Him say, Depart from me, I never knew you (Matt. 7:23).

Psalm 5:6 "Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man."

"Leasing": Or, lies; that make it their business to raise and scatter false and defamatory statements and reproaches concerning me; as many did.

"The bloody and deceitful man": David's enemies being such sort of persons, foolish wicked men, proud and haughty, workers of iniquity, liars, bloody and deceitful men. Men that God had an abhorrence of. He therefore hoped and was confident that God would hear his prayers against them, and for himself.

Leasing means falsehood or lying. Abhor means detest. A bloody man would be someone who sheds another's blood. He would be a murderer. A deceitful man lies to benefit himself. God, not Satan, will destroy the wicked. We can see from the following Scripture what the LORD does to these evil people at the end.

Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Psalm 5:7 "But as for me, I will come [into] thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: [and] in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple."

“But as for me”: The psalmist starkly contrasts himself with his enemies. They are haughty; he is humble.

We notice in this, a deliberate decision by David to worship God. Throughout the Bible, we have seen men decide of their own free will to follow God.

Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Salvation is an individual thing. Just as David and Joshua decided of their own free will to serve God, we must decide, as well. We cannot have 2 masters. We must either serve God, or serve the devil. Fear (reverence), of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Notice that David entered the house of God, by the mercy of God. We enter into fellowship with God through the name and blood of Jesus Christ. The temple curtain (separating God from man), was torn from the top down and opened the way for each of us to fellowship with God. The mercy of God provided our entrance. We, like David, must deliberately seek the house of God and worship there.

 

Verses 8-9: To man’s “hoof” problem, David exposes man’s “mouth” problem, with special application to his slick-talking enemies. Proverbs is especially given to exposing the deadliness of mankind’s spiritual “hoof” and “mouth” disease, i.e., one’s walk and talk. Paul includes these assessments (from Psalm 5:9), in his list of 14 terrible indictments of all mankind (in Rom. 3:13).

Psalm 5:8 "Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face."

“Lead me … make thy way straight”: Disciples are to walk in God’s way(s), being obedient to His direction(s) for their lives, yet they are fully dependent upon His grace for responsible progress (compare Psalm 119:1-5, 26-27, 30, 32-33).

Guidance is the main petition of this prayer. The right way, never easy to discern, is even more difficult for the psalmist “because of mine enemies”. They lie in wait, to lead astray or do harm. Conflict is constant between those who try to follow God’s way and those who prefer to ignore it. “Make thy way straight” asks God to make His will discernible (25:4-5; 27:11; 31:3).

The Shepherd leads His sheep (Christians). The Shepherd is also, the Light. If we are to walk and not stumble, we must walk in the Light that He provides for us.

John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

We see a very similar Scripture here.

1 John 1:7 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."

Let Jesus lead you to all truth. If He is to lead, we must follow.

Psalm 5:9 "For [there is] no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part [is] very wickedness; their throat [is] an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue."

“Open sepulcher” depicts the murderous efficiency and deadly results of the words of the psalmist’s enemies (Jer. 5:16; Rom. 3:13).

The devil and all his followers are liars. They seek to please their own flesh and not the will of God. The sepulcher is a grave. We see that the sinful are speaking death from their mouths. The sad thing is that, they are not satisfied to be lost themselves, but they try (with flattering words), to draw others into their sin and death.

 

Verses 10-12: He prays for the just ends of the wicked according to God’s revealed standard of Justice (Deut. 25:1), and contrastingly urges those who are regarded as righteous by the Lord’s grace to joyfully celebrate His blessings.

Psalm 5:10 "Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee."

Hebrew: Hold them guilty, or condemn and punish them. Or, make them to offend, to wit, in their counsels, as it follows. So as they may either be given up to bad and foolish counsels, or fail in the execution of their wise or crafty counsels. Or make them desolate, as the word is used (Ezek. 6:6 Joel 1:18).

"Let them fall by their own counsels": I.e. make their counsels not only unsuccessful against me, but also destructive to themselves. Or let them fall short of their aims and designs. Or, because of their counsels, which are ungodly and unjust, and so deserve destruction.

"Cast them out": Out of thy land, and from among thy people, whom they either infect or molest by their wicked courses.

"Against thee": Against thy authority and declared will concerning my advancement to the throne; which different Israelites opposed against their own consciences (see 2 Sam. 3:8-10).

The evil ones despising the followers of God are not just in David's time, but even unto the end of the age. Look with me in the following Scriptures describing the end times, and see it is the same.

2 Timothy 3:3 "Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,"

To get the whole picture, read all of chapter 3 of 2nd Timothy. David is saying, vengeance is thine O LORD. We know that Jesus instructed the apostles to shake the dust from their feet, when those of the house would not receive the truth. We also know from the next Scripture; just how severe their punishment will be.

Mark 6:11 "And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city."

To rebel against authority on this earth is bad enough, but to rebel against God brings terrible punishment. Israel was said to rebel against God, because they did not receive Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Not only for them, but to rebel and not receive Jesus as Savior would send any person to hell.

Psalm 5:11 "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee."

Those that dare rely upon thy word and promise when all human hopes and refuges fail. Which was often the case of David and his followers.

"Rejoice": Let them have cause of great joy from thy love and care of them, and “because thou defendest them”, as it follows.

"Thy name": I.e. thy majesty, thy word, and worship, and glory. All which is called God’s name in Scripture. David doth not confine his prayer to his party, but prays for all good men, though by their own mistakes. Or other men’s cunning devices, some of them might now be in a state of opposition against him.

The joy of the Lord is our strength. We believers in Christ have a lot to rejoice about. We have hope of the resurrection from the dead. Our joy is not in our own might, but is in the Lord Jesus.

Abraham had faith in God and it was counted unto him for righteousness. We are like Abraham. Our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ will save us (Romans 10:9 says it all).

Romans 10:9 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."

Habakkuk 3:18 "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."

Psalm 5:12 "For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as [with] a shield."

It is one of the characteristics of God that, while he will punish the wicked, he will show favor to the righteous. While he brings deserved punishment upon the one, he will show his favor to the other.

"With favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield": That is, as a shield is thrown around or before one in the day of battle to protect him, so will you throw your protection around the righteous. For a description of a "shield" (see notes at Eph. 6:16; compare the notes at Psalm 3:3). On these accounts, David felt that he might trust in God in the day of trouble and danger. And on the same account, all who are righteous may put their trust in him now.

The Lord will clothe us in His righteousness, when we are washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14 "And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?" "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

This shield that compasses the Christians is the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus' blood not only protects us here on the earth, but clothes us in the garment of His righteousness in heaven (white linen).

One important message we must receive from this lesson is the provision God has made for the righteous and the punishment in store for the wicked.

Psalm 5 Questions

1.      Who was this Psalm addressed to?

2.      What is David crying out for God to do in verse 1?

3.      How could we fulfill the above Scripture in our busy lives?

4.      What can we learn from Isaiah 65:24?

5.      Ye have not, because ____ ______ _____.

6.      Where do we find the Scripture that says, the Spirit prays for us?

7.      What 2 things do we Christians want to be assured of that David wanted to be assured of, also?

8.      What 2 names does David cry to that he wants to hearken to his voice in verse 2?

9.      Who should we pray to?

10.  In whose name must we pray?

11.  Christianity is an ______________ thing.

12.  What time of day does David say he will pray in verse 3?

13.  How can we do God's will?

14.  Who is David's prayer directed to?

15.  The smoke in the tabernacle was symbolic of what?

16.  How many times a day did the smoke rise to heaven?

17.  Why are believers to be holy?

18.  The wages of sin is _________.

19.  Jesus became our _____________.

20.  All things are by the law purged with what?

21.  Who does God hate in verse 5?

22.  Who sent the fire on Sodom?

23.  What happened to the angels who followed Lucifer?

24.  Who are those, God speaks of as, of your father the devil?

25.  Where do those who totally rebel against God wind up?

26.  What does leasing mean?

27.  What does abhor mean?

28.  Who is a bloody man?

29.  Who, does Revelation 21:8 say, has their part in the lake which burneth with fire?

30.  Verse 7 says, David comes into thy house, how?

31.  Name several in the Bible who have deliberately decided to worship God?

32.  What is the beginning of wisdom?

33.  When did Jesus open the way for us to the Father?

34.  Who is the Shepherd?

35.  Who are His sheep?

36.  How does 1 John 1:7 say we are to walk?

37.  What is the sepulcher?

38.  Destroy thou them, let them fall by their own ____________.

39.  Where do we find the Scripture that says, despisers of those that are good?

40.  What is worse than rebelling against earthly authority?

41.  Let all those that put their trust in thee __________.

42.  What are the Christians around the throne in heaven dressed in?

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