Psalm 5: Snoozing Alarm Clocks
For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
Listen to my words, Lord, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, Lord, detest. But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple. Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies— make your way straight before me. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
I'm not much of a morning person. Growing up my family lived in a house with six people and only ONE bathroom. Because of that (and the fact that all of us insisted on morning showers) it was quite the ordeal to get everyone ready in the morning. For whatever reason, my parents decided I had to be the one to shower first meaning I had to get up at 6am at the latest. This was no fun for me. Today, I'm still the type of person who hits snooze on my alarm approximately 12 billion times.
But....I actually kinda like mornings. Once I'm up and awake, the morning feels so fresh to me. I love the crisp morning air. I love the sound of birds chirping. I love the expectant energy that everyone has in the morning. I love working in the mornings because I'm almost always much more productive (but seriously, who can pay attention in the first class after lunch?) I actually hate sleeping in super late on days off because it feels like I'm missing an important part of the day.
In this Psalm we ready today, we see that David uses the mornings as a sacred time. David lays down his requests to God in the morning. He is also expectant that God will hear him and will act in his favor.
This Psalm isn't just David giving his requests to God, but it is also a lament. A lament is passionate grieving and sadness. David is lamenting that he knows two truths: First, God is a good God. Everything that isn't good and pure cannot stand in God's presence because He is so Holy. Second, David has lots of enemies. Many are jealous of David and want his power and throne (remember Absalom?) This morning it seems like David feels it necessary to remind God of these two truths. David feels like he needs to remind God that God Himself is good and that his enemies need punishing.
Like many psalms, this psalm is contrasting the evil people with the righteous people. God blesses the righteous and destroys the wicked.
Knowing David's backstory makes this Psalm even more interesting. David is someone who was king of Israel. When he was king, he saw a woman named Bathsheba bathing on a roof near his palace. He decided to take her as his wife and kill her current husband. David was rebuked for this and repented later on. When David laments that he wants God's enemies to be destroyed because of their sins, isn't David a sinner too? Hasn't David done terrible things to others? I think this where there is a distinction....
But I, by your great love,
can come into your house;
in reverence I bow down
toward your holy temple.
David can come into the house of the Lord without being destroyed. But it isn't because he sinned less than his enemies, it's because of God's love for him. What separates David from his enemies is David's desire for God. He's the one who gets up early in the morning to spend time with God. David sometimes fails, but it's because of his relationship with God that he can stand before God and pray this prayer. Like David, we aren't perfect, we all mess up. But there is a way back to God for us too.
If you are reading this, God loves you. So much. He has made a way for us to stand in His presence without being destroyed. It's through His ultimate act of love, sending Jesus to live, die, and rise again for us. When we hold onto that truth, we can come into God's house.
Challenge: Tomorrow morning, spend time with God. Head outside into God's creation. Breathe in the morning air. Read your Bible. Throughout this time, I want you to focus on these two truths: God is good and I am loved. When we remember these two things, our posture transforms into a posture of praise.