A Cry for Help

“Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 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. Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me. For there is no truth in their mouth; their inmost self is destruction; their throat is an open grave; they flatter with their tongue. 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. 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. For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” ~Psalm 5

The psalmist begins his desperate prayer before speaking a word or bending his knees.  He prepares himself by bowing his heart in sincere contrition.  On our attitude of prayer, Spurgeon writes, “Let us cultivate the spirit of prayer which is even better than the habit of prayer. There may be seeming prayer where there is little devotion. We should begin to pray before we kneel down, and we should not cease when we rise up.”[1]  David begins with a lofty view of God as King, which naturally places himself as His lowly subject.  Yet, despite, his transcendent view of God he also knows the LORD in a personal and intimate way.  He confides in Him as one does a close friend.  Do we pray this way?

David is open and transparent with God for he must realize that God already knows his troubles.  He is convinced that God abhors the wicked, arrogant, and deceitful that cause him grief.  At the same time, he himself confesses to only enter God’s house by way of His steadfast love (v.7). In the same way, we should come to God—not in our righteousness, but in Christ’s.  Let us bow toward Him in reverence and willingness to surrender our wills to His lead.  We don’t need to makes things right in our own so-called wisdom or meager strength.  Dr. Varner points out in his commentary of this psalm that David never takes personal vengeance on his enemies but always leaves judgment of his slanderers to God.[2]

The psalmist despairs and then rehearses truth.  Their end is destruction.  He reminds us too of the reality of the fate of the wicked.  This should propel us to desire righteousness just as the psalmist.  David knows holiness cannot come from himself so he asks for God’s leading in the right path to confound his enemies and again speaks truth to himself.  In the end, he reminds himself of the blessings of the righteous (v.12).

Jesus wins the victory over the adversary.  We can then take every injustice and the abundant evils of this world and ask Him to shield us from them.  What wonderful words of comfort we find here.  Even more, this side of the cross, we have a clearer vision of the risen Savior as our refuge.  May we be among those who love the name of the LORD and take joy in His protection over us.

“The Lord will never lead people into sin but only down level paths of righteousness.  David asked that the way of God’s guidance would be level and smooth, free from temptations and obstacles of sin: Make straight your way before me.”[3]

O, LORD, your loyal love is our refuge and shield to which we look to and eagerly wait when all around the storm rages on, You will move to vindicate every wrong against Your children in Your perfect will and time.  May we rejoice now even in the waiting as we look to Christ and live in freedom from sin.

 

[1] Spurgeon, Charles H.  The Treasury of David: Psalms.   Christianty.com. Accessed on 8/14/19.

https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=spur&b=19&c=5.

[2] Varner, William.  Awake O Harp: A Devotional Commentary on the Psalms.  San Bernardino, 2019.

[3] Lawson, Steve J.  Holman Old Testament Commentary: Psalm 1-75.  (Nashville: Holman Reference, 2003), 39.

 

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