Sunday, July 1, 2012

Psalms on Sunday: Psalm 5

 Psalm 5 is another prayer for God to pay attention to the speaker and to aid them.

 Verses 1-3 are like an intro prayer, asking God to listen to what the speaker is about to say. This is an interesting thing to say, because most Christians take for granted that God is going to hear us anyway, and I think he does. It makes me wonder if it's a Hebrew thing or maybe a poetic flourish or a gesture of politeness to ask God to listen to you before you begin your prayer properly. It seems like the sort of thing you'd say to a great king in ancient times, entreating him to hear out your case because his time is valuable.

Verses 4-7 deal with the kind of people that God will not listen to, and the type of behavior he can't stand. Wicked, evil, deceitful, bloody, and willfully foolish people don't get to draw close to God--he is repulsed by this kind of behavior.

Verse 8 makes it clear why the speaker started with a supplication then moved on to a description of evil people--he's asking for deliverance from those evil people, almost like a tactic in a public debate, requesting attention, depicting a problem, then prompting someone to act upon the problem.

Verse 9 shows a lot of language-related evildoings. The enemies of the speaker are verbally deceitful and they are also masters of flattery--their throats are compared to tombs. That's pretty shocking imagery, right there. Verse 10 openly asks God to destroy these horrible people, which seems like the sort of thing it isn't appropriate to pray for anymore, but the speaker lived in a less merciful era.

Verses 11 and 12 establish God's love and favor toward the righteous, and mention how he protects them like he's guarding them with a shield.


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

2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.

3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.

5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.

8 Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.

10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.

11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

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