A Psalm of David.

This is the third Psalm speaking prophetically of David’s plight during the events taking place in the future Kingdom trial described in Psalm 2.  It was no doubt also written at the time of his flight from Absalom, and describes his attitude upon waking up the next morning after his desperate flight from Jerusalem.

1.  Give ear to my words, O LORD,

David calls upon God to listen to his words as he cries unto Him for help.

Consider my meditation.

David is meditating on God’s law day and night, even as he said the “how happy” person does in Psalm 1:2.  David wants God to consider his meditation and what it says about his heart.

2.  Give heed to the voice of my cry,

Give ear, consider, and give heed…these words are repeated to express David’s earnest desire for God to take notice of his plight and come to his aid.

My King and my God,

God is the One Who is ordering David’s life.  David acknowledges His sovereignty here even as he calls upon Him for help.

For to You I will pray.

This Psalm is thus a prayer of David’s.  There is an important principle that I have found to be helpful in understanding prayers in the Bible.  We look at prayers as communication with God.  Often we ask God for things in these prayers, knowing that we may or may not receive them.  In the Bible, however, all prayers are inspired by God.  How does this affect these prayers?

I believe that all prayers in the Bible are actually prophecies.  The desire of the one praying by Divine inspiration is the desire of the Holy Spirit Who is inspiring him as well.  Thus the prayer actually becomes a prophecy of what God WILL do in the future.  This has been called the prayer/prophecy principle, whereby such prayers become prophecies and tell us what God is in fact going to do.

3.  My voice You shall hear in the morning O LORD;

Even as he rises from his bed David is already calling upon the LORD to start his day.  Let us start our days the same way!  What better way to begin a day could there be than to look to our Lord to lead and guide us in all that lies ahead for us that day?

In the morning I will direct it to You,

This is repeated for solemn emphasis.  Directing it here means setting it in order.  David is laying down his earnest desire in a set order before God so that it is clear to Him exactly what David is requesting in his time of trouble.  Are we able to do the same thing?  If God asked us our desire as he did Solomon, would we be able to tell Him what it is that we want?

And I will look up.

After setting his prayer in order before God, David looks up to God awaiting His answer.

4.  For You are not a GOD Who takes pleasure in wickedness,

“God” here is El the singular, rather than Elohim the plural form that is most often used.  El is the Almighty God, the One Who is able to help David in his trouble.

Wickedness here is particularly lawlessness.  El does not take pleasure in lawlessness, as do David’s adversaries.  David, on the other hand, meditates on God’s law day and night, as does the how happy person of Psalm 1.

Nor shall evil dwell with You.

Evil here is injurious wickedness.  David knows that God will not act as his enemies do to injure him without a cause.

5.  The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;

There are many who boast in themselves, but God is not impressed by their words.  These shall not stand before Him when He judges them, and none will heed their proud words at that time.

You hate all workers of iniquity.

David knows that God hates those who work iniquity.  Thus they were put down in the past, as they will be in the future day when they will rise up against David in God’s Kingdom.

6.  You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;

Perhaps David had in mind the words of Shimei.  Surely those harsh accusations must have burned in his ears and he and the people fled Jerusalem the day before.  Shimei’s words as recorded in II Samuel 16:7-8 were, “Come out!  Come out!  You bloodthirsty man, you rogue!  The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son.  So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!”  These accusations were false, of course.  Far from being a bloodthirsty man, David had spared all the family of Saul when he took his throne.  The heathen customs of the day would have bade him to have them all slain, but David was merciful to them, even blessing Mephibosheth Jonathon’s son due to his love for his father.  Shimei’s false words did indeed lead to his destruction, as we learn in I Kings 2:36-46.

The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

The LORD abhors those who are such, but David knows that he is not such a man.  The accusations of Shimei against him are false.

7.  But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;

David is confident that he will yet return to Jerusalem and enter the LORD’s house which is there.  This was true in the past, and will be true in the future, when David will return to Jerusalem after the revolt and re-enter the temple to continue making the sacrifices that he is to make there, for we learn in Ezekiel 45:17 that this will be his job in that future day.

In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

If David has already come into the LORD’s house it does not make sense that he would worship towards it.  The word here translated “temple” would be better rendered “palace,” and most likely speaks of the LORD’s home in heaven.

8.  Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;

David desires not only to walk in God’s ways for his own sake, but also because of his enemies.  This is so that they will have no occasion to blaspheme God as a result of some sinful action on the part of David His anointed.  In the same way we too would do well to seek after righteousness so that those who are our enemies will have no cause to mock God because of our own unfaithful actions towards Him.

Make Your way straight before my face.

If God’s way is straight before his face then he will see it clearly to be able to follow it.  Moreover if it is straight he will be able to follow it easily without fear of stumbling.  It was David’s desire in this time of trouble that God’s way would be clear to him so that he could follow it come what may.

9.  For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

Faithfulness here means steadfastness or stability.  David is speaking of the “bloodthirsty and deceitful man” of verse 6.  The word “their” is the singular “his” in Hebrew.  However, the idea of the bloodthirsty and deceitful man is true of all who are such, so the use of the plural is appropriate, if not entirely correct.

Their inward part is destruction;

This is a figure of speech meaning that it will cause destruction, both to others (since he is “bloodthirsty”) and also to himself, for such a man inevitably digs his own grave.  Again the word is singular, not plural.  This phrase speaks of his bloodthirstiness.

Their throat is an open tomb;

In other words, their deceitful words can lead the naïve to their own deaths.  This phrase speaks of his deceitfulness.

They flatter with their tongue.

Often flattery is the best tool such a man can use to lead others to their own destruction.  For example, David’s own grandson Rehoboam was led to disaster by the flattery of his young friends.  (I Kings 12:1-16)

There are many in our day who show these same characteristics.  It would be best if we look out for such as them and avoid their wicked ways.

10.  Pronounce them guilty, O God!

David calls upon God for aid in condemning these wicked men.  We know that this is something that God will indeed do to the wicked men in the future Kingdom, and He also worked against the wicked men who had arisen against David in that day, so this prayer was indeed answered according to the prayer/prophecy principle.

Let them fall by their own counsels;

This happened in the case of Ahithophel, as we read in II Samuel 15:31 and 17: 14, 23.  As I said above, such men tend to bring about their own destruction.

Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,

In the future Kingdom, God will literally cast the evil men out of His Kingdom by removing their lives from them.

For they have rebelled against You.

David knows that those who have rebelled against him have not defied him only.  Rather they have defied the God Whom he represents and Who set him on the throne.  This is the way of it with all God’s appointed leaders.  That is why we need to be so careful of declaring our own religious leaders as God’s appointed ones.  If that is true, then to turn against them is to turn against God!  Does anyone really have the right to claim such a thing today, either as the leader of an organization himself or as a member claiming it of his leaders?

11.  But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;

In other words, let their cause in which they are trusting in God consummate in success.  David calls upon God to bring his flight to a happy conclusion, and that God would do the same for all those who trust in Him in their time of adversity.

Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;

Defense speaks of covering.  This is not only defense from enemies, but also covering over their own sins that would drive them away from God.

Let those also who love Your name

This would be loving God’s character and reputation.

Be joyful in You.

And they all will be joyful in Him when the Kingdom revolt at last comes to its happy conclusion with the restoration of God’s control and the purging of all rebels from His glorious Kingdom.

12.  For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;

He is not righteous in and of himself, but because he is justified by God.  God not only blesses such in our day, but He will especially bless them in that great Day to come.

With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

God’s favor protects those who are justified.  This is one reason I believe we have nothing to fear from evil spirits and the followers of Satan.  At most they can act on circumstances around us to deceive us, or else speak to us in our minds to try to tempt us and lead us astray.  They cannot, however, physically harm us, possess us, or force us to do evil.  As God’s justified ones, we are surrounded with His favor, and this is the strongest shield against such things that one could hope to have.

To the Chief Musician.

Again, this Psalm is dedicated to the Chief Musician to be used for public singing.  These songs are meant to comfort in times of distress.

With stringed instruments.

The word in Hebrew is neginoth, which means “smitings.”  This does not speak of the striking of a bow upon strings, however, but of the strikings that David’s enemies were hoping to heap upon him and which would instead be turned upon their own heads.  The confusion of the translators here is due to the fact that they tried to connect this word with the following Psalm, Psalm 6, rather than recognizing its position here in the postscript of Psalm 5.

On an eight-stringed harp.

The word in Hebrew is Sheminith, which means “the Eighth.”  This is a very creative translation we have here, but it is entirely nonsense.  The Eighth was a company of singers composed of faithful men who had all been circumcised on the eighth day according to the law of Moses.  Apparently a choir consisting of such men were the ones to sing this song.  This may speak of the faithfulness of such men who would follow the law so closely.  Thus they are the ones justified and shielded by God, as described in verse 12, and are the ones whom He will protect as promised in the Psalms.

We can take a lesson from this in that the best way for us to insure our own protection against evil is to follow God faithfully in all things, particularly religious things.  Many are they who take up the rituals of the world and think that they will gain blessing from God by doing so.  Only those who faithfully follow the things that God has given to them, however, will truly receive the blessings of God.  This is why right division and an understanding of dispensationalism is so important.  If we do not serve God correctly, how can we enjoy His blessings as we should?  He cannot show favor to those who are acting outside His will in religious matters.  Even for believers, acting wrongly in religious things can limit our blessings.  Let us work diligently, then, to be the stewards who need not to be ashamed and rightly divide His Word (II Timothy 2:15), understanding and following only the things that are rightfully given to us!