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Psalm 5

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Expositional Idea: The righteous may pray with confidence for deliverance from deceitful and malicious attacks because their God hates wickedness.
You probably do not have to think that far back to recall a moment when you have been maliciously or deceitfully attacked, and the most natural response is to right the wrong and settle the score. However, as a child of God, we are called upon to respond to such attacks in a supernatural way. In other words, we are to respond God’s way. As we will discover in this Psalm, God has prescribed a specific formula for responding to such occasions, and as you will see, God truly does have your back.
While the context of the Psalm’s composition is uncertain, it is likely connected to the same situation that David has been facing in and 4. However, the internal evidence of the Psalm provides us with enough information to formulate a godly game plan.
Pay particular attention to the following three elements of this Psalm, as it will arm you with a three-step game plan for dealing with deceitful and malicious attacks on you and your faith.
I. Plan to be Heard (1-3)
The word that is translated into “groaning” is only used twice in the Psalms, which emphasizes the inward nature of the David’s murmuring, and he is calling on his King to issue marching orders. Similarly, Paul states “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words ().
David begins his day by going before the Lord in prayer, and he is expecting the Lord to answer his prayer. David is so confident that the Lord will answer his prayer that he is going to wait and watch!
ILLUSTRATION: While reading a psychological article titled “10 Steps to Starting Your Day,” I noticed that while 8 of the tens steps were very natural (e.g., get plenty of rest or focus on the positive), 2 of them were referred to activities that were very spiritual in nature. The writer noted that if you start each day with meditation and reading something positive before starting your day it would affect the outcome of your day, as you would anticipate better things.
APPLICATION: Whether you are a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. The key is how will we start the day. Will we start our day off by meditating on our concerns and God’s Word and praying about them with expectation of an answer, or will we simply jump on our feet and run out of the front door and into a world that is full of issues and think that it will have no effect on us? I am issuing a 7-day challenge – get up every morning this week and meditate with God and watch while you pray. Raise your hand if you accept that challenge (ask someone to give a testimony of how that affected them next week).
II. Pronouncement of confidence (4-7)
David uses the participle “hate” to indicate that these are not people who merely make an occasional mistake. These people, in fact, are very dangerous people, and David states that these people are not even able to go before the Lord and sacrifice or pray, for the Lord is totally incompatible with these types of people. Likewise, Jesus said that he would not receive into his kingdom people of lawlessness at the judgment ().
David states humbly states that it is through God’s abundant “steadfast love” (hesed) that he will be able to enter into the Lord’s presence and not based upon what he has accomplished, which emphasizes the fact that David is in a covenant relationship with the Father, and therefore, is able to “relate” to God. Unlike those who are outside of the covenant, who consistently do wicked things; David is walking in the obedience of the covenant with God.
ILLUSTRATION: David was confident that those who were acting wickedly outside of God’s covenant relationship would not be able to stand in God’s presence and thereby receive God’s favor, but that he, due to his covenant relationship with God, would be able to be received into God’s presence and pray. In other words, David knew that while the wicked people would not be able to enter into God’s presence because of their wickedness, he would be able to enter into God’s presence for prayer due solely to God’s covenant love. Therefore, he would worship and pray in God’s presence in a reverent and humble attitude. In contemporary terms, it would be like you going before the Lord in prayer about people doing you wrong, but you go before the Lord acting as if you deserve to be in his presence. You are only allowed into God’s presence because of his covenantal love for you, which is ultimately revealed through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, and not because you are good, better than your enemy, or anything else for that matter.
APPLICATION: When you enter into God’s presence to pray about the way others are treating you, is your confidence of being there based upon you being better than your enemy or God’s steadfast love?
III. Prayer for Deliverance (8-12)
David prays that since these wicked people are so destructive, both ruining and erasing lives like genocide, that he wants God to make his decisions clear and not complex.
This is known as an imprecatory prayer request, which means that David is asking God to deal justly with these people based upon “their” rebellion against God. It is not wrong to pray for God to deal justly, but it is wrong to carry out your own form of vengeance. As C. S. Lewis noted, “We don’t hate sin enough to get upset at the wickedness and godlessness around us. Bombarded as we are with so much media evil and violence, we’ve gotten accustomed to the darkness.” It is good to be disturbed by violence being brought to you, so talk to God about it.
C. BLESSING (11-12)
As David longs for the fully established kingship of God over the created order, he ask God to bless him, as well as his covenant people, with joy over God’s divine protection. God’s people are depending upon God to come through for them, for they are his covenant people.
ILLUSTRATION: These people were David’s enemies because they were first God’s enemies, so David is praying that God would give him clear guidance for life, for his enemies to be dealt with justly. As a follower of Jesus Christ, you belong to a God who hates wickedness. Therefore, you may anticipate a joyful deliverance from God as you pray for divine guidance and judgment of God’s enemies.
APPLICATION: While Jesus calls upon us to pray for our enemies (), he also taught us to pray not to be led into temptation and be delivered from the evil one (). When you pray for this deliverance, you are turning the matter over to God and asking him to deal with it his way.
The world is so antithetical to the Kingdom of God, that it is easy to get upset when attacked by enemies of God and take matters into our own hands. But we are not to repay evil with evil, but rather trust that God has truly got your back.
There can be no better proof of the extent that God has got your back than what he has done by giving his only Son, so that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life
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