Psalm 5:1-12

To the Chief Musician. With flutes. A Psalm of David.

1 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.

2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.

3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.

5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.

6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You 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 destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.

10 Pronounce 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 rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.

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

The Psalm was sung in connection with regular morning (v.3) offerings in the temple and used in traditional Jewish morning prayers.

give ear (v.1) = attend carefully and respond in the petitioner’s best interest

meditation (v.1) = ponder, muse, reading and rereading the Word half-aloud

direct (v.3) = set in order, arrange

David focuses on God’s holiness (vs.4-6) by indicating that God is opposed to “wickedness,” “evil,” “iniquity,” “falsehood,” and “deceit.”

David focuses on God’s compassion (v.7) by expressing that he can only enter the temple because of God’s mercy.

mercy (v.7) = steadfast love — specifically “covenant love” for the Lord’s own

Verse 9 is quoted by Paul in Romans 3:13, showing that the enemies (v.8) are Jews and Gentiles because “they are all under sin” (Romans 3:9).

David’s petition is not only that God would protect him from physical harm (as in his military campaigns against the Philistines), but also that God would lead him in righteousness — including the Lord’s restraining him from taking merciless retribution upon Israelites outwardly opposed to him (like Nabal; see 1 Samuel 25:26) as well as the granting to him of discernment so as to avoid the counsel (as in Job 29:21 and Proverbs 1:31 — “devices” in NASB) of ungodly “allies” and advisors (like Joab: see 2 Samuel 3:24-30, 39) — Wechsler, page 33.

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