How do we come before the Lord in prayer when we are in a time of trouble, of turmoil, of heartache?  As we come before the Lord this morning in worship, I want to consider together Psalm 5, a psalm of prayer and worship to God in a time of trouble by David, Israel’s great king.  In this psalm, we read:

1.  Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2.  Give heed to the voice of my cry,

All David’s desire and hope at this time of turmoil are turned towards the Lord.  David calls upon God to listen to his words as he cries unto Him for help.   He wants God to consider his meditation and what it says about his heart.  He wants him to heed his voice as it cries unto Him.  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.  The last Psalm title that listed an event for the writing of the Psalm was Psalm 3, which says it was written as David fled from Absalom his son.  I believe that Psalms 4 and 5 were also written upon this occasion.  Thus, we can easily see why David earnestly desired the LORD to hear his cry for help at this time!

My King and my God,

Here, David acknowledges His sovereignty even as he calls upon Him for help.  His own kingship might be in question, but he knew Who was the true King!

For to You I will pray.

This shows us that this Psalm is a prayer of David’s, a prayer of worship and praise as well as a call for help.

3.  My voice You shall hear in the morning O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,

How did you begin your day this morning?  Or how do you begin a day when you are in the midst of trial and turmoil in your life?  With fretting or worry or anger or sorrow?  As David begins his day, even as he rises from his bed in this dark hour, he is already calling upon the LORD!  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?

And I will look up.

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

Now David’s thoughts turn to his enemies, the topic that was so heavy on his mind at this time.

4.  For You are not a GOD Who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5.  The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6.  You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

The enemies of David were claiming that he was a bad king who did not care about his subjects.  David knows that the LORD abhors those who are evil, but he also knows that he is not such a man.  The accusations of his enemies against him were false.  It was his enemies themselves who were this kind of wicked and destructive person!

7.  But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

David speaks of God’s temple here, and of coming into it to worship.  David was cut off from the temple and from worshipping God there at this time.  Indeed, David deserved to be cut off, for this event followed his terrible sin with Bathsheba.  David deserved nothing but punishment and death, and to be driven from the kingship.  And yet David knew that God had forgiven him, and thus he trusted that God would bring him back into the temple once again.  And how was it that he would be able to come?  How else, but through God’s grace!  God had forgiven him, and graciously would allow him to worship before Him once again.  We, too, are unworthy to come before the righteous God, and yet we too receive God’s grace as He allows us, in prayer, to come before His throne to worship.

8.  Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

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.  How much do we need the same guidance when we are in difficulty and do not know which way to turn!

9.  For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10.  Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

In all David’s troubles and trials, he maintained a right perspective on things.  David knew that those who had rebelled against him had not defied him only.  Rather they had defied the God Whom he represented and Who set him on the throne.  Sometimes in our trials and sorrows it is easy to lose a right perspective on the way things really are.  At these times we need to remember the truth and God’s view of things, so that our minds will think of our troubles aright.

11.  But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.

David’s enemies had no future but a guilty sentence before God.  How different from his enemies does David consider those who love the name of the LORD!  They have a far different future, and a far different hope.

12.  For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

David, even in his troubles, cannot help but finish his psalm in praise.  Why?  Because he knows that the Lord will bless the righteous, and the favor of the Lord will protect them.  Remember, loving favor is an Old Testament expression for grace.  David knew that it was grace that would protect him even in his troubles.  In the same way, it is God’s grace that keeps us in our troubles today.

I don’t know if you are coming before the Lord to worship today with a heavy heart or a glad one, or if things are in turmoil in your life or if they are going pretty well.  But whatever the case, let us meditate on this Psalm this morning, and thank our God for the multitudes of His grace even as we worship Him together!

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