Psalm 5: The Morning Hymn

Lloyd Cain

If Psalm 4 was an evening hymn, then Psalm 5, like Psalm 3, is a morning hymn. This is indicated by the words, "My voice shalt Thou hear in the morning." While there are a number of ways we can look at this passage of God’s Word, we will perhaps consider David as contemplating his relationships as he begins his day. Take your Bible down as we meditate together.

His Relationship to the Lord (5:1-3)

David, early in the morning, has begun to meditate and to write another song for the sunrise. He considers first his relationship to the Lord and contemplates His person. He addresses the Lord first as Jehovah for this is the title of the God of the Promises. He then shifts his meditation from the covenant keeping God to God as the Potentate of His People and he uses the title "My King." David himself was God’s chosen potentate for Israel so he would be aware of all the implications of this name that shows the majesty of God’s being and the right He has to rule in the hearts of His servants. Thirdly, he addresses God as Elohim, the title that shows the greatness of the power of the God of creation. This God was David’s God - the One with Whom he communed in the morning.

As he contemplates the Person, he continues in prayer. The word "direct" contains the thought of "setting in order." David is like Hezekiah, who when he was presented with the threatening letter from the invading and seemingly invincible Assyrian, took it up to the House of the Lord and "spread it before the Lord."

Not only does the psalmist "set in order" the burdens of his heart before the Lord but he "looks up." This last word in the original means to "lean forward," as if in peering into the distance to watch for the answers to the prayers he has articulated. "Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving" is the New Testament expression with the same meaning (Col. 4:2, See Habakkuk 2:1). He thus shows us the consistency of his prayers for it is habitually "in the morning;" their content for his burdens are set in order,’’ and his confidence as he ‘‘leans forward looking for the answers.

His Relationship to a Lost World (5:4-6)

David looks at the world around him and the pattern of their behaviors. From all such he will be separate for they have not access to the Throne of Grace. Nor will he be able to enjoy the access that has become his if he participates in any of their activities. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Psalm 66:18). If in his heart there is lawlessness, evil, foolishness, iniquity, falsehood, bloodiness, or deceitfulness, he will not be heard. With his heart and ways examined, he lives in a similar confidence to that of the Apostle John who said, "Whatsoever we ask we receive of Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in his sight" (1 John 3:22).

His Relationship to the Lord’s House (5:7-8)

The Psalmist has shown his separation from seven sins of the world. But the believer’s life is not merely "separation from," it is also "separation unto." Thus he says "I will come into Thy house." This relationship to the House of the Lord is critical to our Christian life. The House in the New Testament is identified as being "the church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15). There, in the local church, we also will see the loving-kindness and the leading the Psalmist desired. The House is the place of worship and it is the place where His way is revealed.

His Request for the Lord’s Judgment (5:9-10)

These two verses are an imprecatory parenthesis in the psalm. While these imprecations (requests for God’s judgment on the wicked) did not characterize the Lord Jesus (Luke 23:34), and should not characterize the Christian in this dispensation, they were common in the Psalms and will be part of the manner of prayer in the Tribulation period (Revelation 5:9-11). In the psalm, David is grieved with their mouths, their motives, and their movements.

His Relationship to the Lord’s People (5:11-12)

He turns his thoughts away from the behaviors of the world to the blessings of the believers. He considers their character and describes them as "those that put their trust in Thee." This shows their attitude. He further describes them as "those that love Thy Name." This shows their affection. Their confidence and their cheerfulness impress him. "Thou coverest them" is an expression of His care for them. They are confident, cheerful, covered, and lastly, they are "compassed as with a shield." This glad and guarded people are to be the companions of the separated saint.

Let’s review our relationships today and measure them against those of the Psalmist!