Notes on Psalm 5: Surrounded With Favor

< To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. > Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

2 Hearken to the voice of my cry, my King, and my God, for I will pray to You.

3 You shall hear my voice in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and will look up.

4 For You are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with You.

5 The foolish shall not stand in Your sight: You hate all workers of iniquity.

6 You shall destroy those who speak lies; the LORD will detest the bloody and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy, and in thy fear I will worship toward Your holy temple.

8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is wickedness; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

10 Hold them guilty, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against You.

11 But let all those who put their trust in You rejoice: let them shout for joy always, because You defend them; and let those who love Your name be joyful in You.

12 For You, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

 

The Fifth Psalm is yet another Psalm of David when he is encountering trouble. Like the two previous psalms, this one has an explanatory note: it is directed to the Chief Musician, and it is to be performed on nehiloth, which means flutes.

Psalm 5 carries the same pattern as the previous Psalms – starting with a man being attacked by unrighteous enemies. It carries a great description of the evil of men and particularly of their words. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he uses David’s description in a list of Scriptures to show how evil and depraved the human race is without God. David closes with a ringing declaration of the protection and blessing of God which will surround the righteous with favor.

1 < To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. > Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

2 Hearken to the voice of my cry, my King, and my God, for I will pray to You.

3 You shall hear my voice in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and will look up.

A. In Verse 1 David asks God to hear His words. We know that God is hearing but yet our humanity moves us to ask God to “pay attention,” as it were.

B. He also asks God to consider his meditation. This is a word which means something like a complaint. It also carries the idea of inward moaning and groaning. In the New Testament we have something similar in the sighs and groans of the Spirit within us. David was not above complaining to God, and indeed pouring out one’s complaint to God is seen in the Psalms as something spiritually healthy. Pouring out one’s complaint to others may actually keep us from meeting God and receiving help in the matter!

C. In Verse 2, David is reminding God that he belongs to Him – calling Him “my King and my God.” It is a wonderful thing to belong to God and be able to say with confidence that He is indeed our God. Jesus of course completed the picture by reconciling us to God, so that we can call Him Father, too. And the Son has become our Friend. Wonderful love of God!

D. David says that he will pray in the morning. What better way to start the day than with prayer to God? The famous Bible commentator Matthew Henry said, “Let prayer be the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.”

E. He also says he will look up. Praying at the beginning of the day enables us to look Heavenward and get God’s perspective on the day, rather than living under the sun.

 

4 For You are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness, neither shall evil dwell with You.

5 The foolish shall not stand in Your sight: You hate all workers of iniquity.

6 You shall destroy those who speak lies; the LORD will detest the bloody and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy, and in thy fear I will worship toward Your holy temple.

A. In Verse 4, David knows that he must stay in God’s path to enjoy the favor of the Lord. God takes no pleasure in wickedness. You cannot bring about good by doing what is detestable to the Lord, no matter how lofty your motives may seem.

B. Evil will not dwell with God. Spurgeon said it best when he said, “He will not afford it the meanest shelter. Neither on earth nor in heaven shall evil share the mansion of God. Oh, how foolish are we if we attempt to entertain two guests so hostile to one another as Christ Jesus and the devil! Rest assured, Christ will not live in the parlour of our hearts if we entertain the devil in the cellar of our thoughts.”

C. The foolish will not stand in His sight: the fool is the one who has said in his heart that there is no God (Ps. 53). Those who live their lives carelessly, as though there were no God, will pay the consequence. They will be brought before God but not remain with Him.

D. God hates workers of iniquity. We know that God so loved the world that He gave His Son, but it was necessary for the Son to suffer precisely because God is angry with the wicked everyday, as David said in Psalm 7. The Bible never whitewashes man’s sin nor does it pretend that the wrath of God is not coming against those who work iniquity. This is just as true in the New Testament as in the Old. In Romans 1 we read that the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness. It should be obvious to all who read the Word that God will judge the world.

E. Because God is truth, His Word speaks often against lying. We do not need to elaborate here on how wicked a lie is nor the destruction it can cause. Murderous and deceitful people will have no place in God’s Kingdom.

 

8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; make Your way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is wickedness; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

10 Hold them guilty, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against You.

A. David asks to be led in God’s path, not his own – a good piece of wisdom! He knows he needs to be led by God because of man’s treachery.

B. This is a classic description of the wickedness of men as expressed in their speech. In addition to lying, the sin of flattery is mentioned here. Flattery is not harmless, as many think. Flattery is the beginning of manipulation and deception.

C. David prays that they will fall by their own counsels. This is an interesting prayer and it reflects the belief of the Jewish people that God uses the evil a man plans against others to destroy the man himself. Proverbs 26:27 says that he who digs a pit will fall into it. We also have the biblical example of Haman, hanged on the very gallows he had prepared for Mordecai in Esther 7.

 

11 But let all those who put their trust in You rejoice: let them shout for joy always, because You defend them; and let those who love Your name be joyful in You.

12 For You, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

A. David ends with a call to the righteous to rejoice. It always calls for faith to rejoice head of time for what God will do – indeed, we could say that this is the very essence of faith! Only a living faith can thank God for what He has promised, confident that it has already been granted.

B. We can shout for joy because He is fighting for us. He will indeed bless the righteous and with favor surround us like a shield. The word “surround” here also has the meaning of “crowning.” The picture is certainly one of protection, but there is also a picture that our adornment from God will be a crown of favor on our head!

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Author: Nick

I’m a pastor, a writer, musician, and recovering lawyer. Blessed to serve the people of Harvest Time Church as Associate Pastor. In my spare time I enjoy losing to my wife in Words With Friends.

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