• Paul Wallace

Psalms 5 through 7

Psalm 5:1-2 (ESV) 1 Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 2  Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.

Some of the psalms begin with a plea for God to hear. When we come in Christ we can know we are heard. My King is the one whom I submit to and serve. My God is the one who orders all things and has all power.

Psalm 5:3 (ESV) 3  O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

I start the day looking to God, laying out my burdens to Him, giving myself anew. Then I watch for God's response.

Psalm 5:4-6 (ESV) 4  For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 5  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 6  You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

My God only plans for my good. If I ask for what is holy and righteous, I am asking in accord with His nature. To stand is to have a just cause, all others must fall on their faces for mercy (Psalm 1:5). The cause of the prideful is self alone. Love the sinner but hate the sin? That is not what is said here. The evildoer who has set their heart against God and will not be turned, hardened beyond hope, was at one time loved by God. But once they pass the point of no return, having aligned themselves with evil, the LORD abhors them. God is the only one with the knowledge of their condition. God will not weep for those in hell.

Psalm 5:7 (ESV) 7  But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.

It’s true only because of the abundance the steadfast love of God (hesed) that sets you and I apart for the worship of our God.

Psalm 5:8-9 (ESV) 8  Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. 9  For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue.

Their words are what draws out the worst in me. It is their tools to pull me down from the path of the righteous.

Psalm 5:10 (ESV) 10  Make them bear their guilt, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out, for they have rebelled against you.

The psalmist cries out for judgment on his enemies not for the harm they wish on him, but for their rebellion toward God.

Psalm 5:11-12 (ESV) 11  But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 12  For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Deal with the rebels. Vengeance is yours. Show the world the end of their ways so that all will be warned. Contrast that with the blessing on the righteous so they are drawn.

Psalm 6:1 (ESV) 1 O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath.

his verse is the repeated in 38:1. See Hebrews 12:3-11. Discipline is essential for sons and daughters. But the subject is discipline in love, not in wrath.

Psalm 6:2-3 (ESV) 2  Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. 3  My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD—how long?

In a time of sickness the psalmist cries out for God's healing touch. Illness can go on so long our very soul is troubled. We wonder how long God will allow it to continue. I think of Daniel, my son. Job thought the same (Job 7:19).

Psalm 6:4 (ESV) 4  Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love.

Don't let it end in death. Demonstrate for all to see your hesed (that we might recognize this attribute from my healing).

Psalm 6:5 (ESV) 5  For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise?

Did they not believe in an afterlife, like the Sadducees? Perhaps it could mean when someone dies the people do not think of God's steadfast love or give God praise. It is the flip side of what would happen if God healed him.

Psalm 6:6-7 (ESV) 6  I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. 7  My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.

Describing a sick body and a broken heart because others are rejoicing in his illness.

Psalm 6:8-10 (ESV) 8  Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the LORD has heard the sound of my weeping. 9  The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD accepts my prayer. 10  All my enemies shall be ashamed and greatly troubled; they shall turn back and be put to shame in a moment.

A cry of faith believing God will act. When God raises me up my enemies will be ashamed of their predictions of death, of victory over me, and suddenly they will be repelled.

Psalm 7:1-2 (ESV) 1 O LORD my God, in you do I take refuge; save me from all my pursuers and deliver me, 2  lest like a lion they tear my soul apart, rending it in pieces, with none to deliver.

This is not a physical assault but a verbal attack meant to ruin his reputation.

Psalm 7:3-5 (ESV) 3  O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4  if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5  let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the groundand lay my glory in the dust. Selah

“[T]his” = what they have done to him. If I am hypocritical for praying this… The psalmist seems sure he had never done this to anyone, uttered malicious lies meant to ruin them.

Psalm 7:6-7 (ESV) 6  Arise, O LORD, in your anger; lift yourself up against the fury of my enemies; awake for me; you have appointed a judgment. 7  Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high.

Be my defense when I cannot defend myself. Be just!

Psalm 7:8 (ESV) 8  The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.

Not sure I could pray this prayer, and maybe after Uriah was killed David might not have prayed it either.

Psalm 7:9 (ESV) 9  Oh, let the evil of the wicked come to an end, and may you establish the righteous—you who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God!

God knows the hearts... so look at mine and look at my enemy's and be righteous.

Psalm 7:10-11 (ESV) 10  My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart. 11  God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.

My shield is God, not my verbal defense, or getting others on my side. God is daily indignant of the actions of the wicked. They offend His righteousness and cry to Him to be judged.

Psalm 7:12-14 (ESV) 12  If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; 13  he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. 14  Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischiefand gives birth to lies.

God is preparing that justice to be served. The only thing that can stop it is repentance. "When an archer “has bent... his bow” (v.12), all he has to do is relax his fingers to let the arrow fly. He cannot hold it long before his arm begins to shake and his fingers grow numb. What a striking picture of God’s judgment!" - Preaching the Word – Volume 1: Psalms 1 to 41

Psalm 7:15 (ESV) 15  He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made.

God often has the evil plotter caught up in their own scheme. What they plan for others returns to them. An African shaman is reported by a friend of mine to have said that when he tries to curse Christians, the curse comes back on him.

Psalm 7:16-17 (ESV) 16  His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends. 17  I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.

A man reaps what he sows. David is comforted that in God's time God's righteousness will be seen. The wicked will get what is due them. We can praise the Lord with a song for His faithful justice.

Questions


  1. Do you practice 5:3?

  2. Does 5:5,6 surprise you? (Psalm 11:5; 2 Chronicles 19:2)

  3. Is this contradictory to loving your enemies?

  4. Do you plead the attributes of God when you pray, as in 6:4?

  5. In 7:10 the LORD is his shield. Are you tempted to find a different shield?

  6. In 7:16,17 justice and righteousness are together. How does one relate to the other?

  7. Why should it cause the psalmist to give thanks and praise the LORD?

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