“Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Give heed to the voice of my cry, my King and my God, for to You I will pray. My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up.” Psalm 5:1-3
I remember learning and singing today’s focus text as a scripture song when I was still in grade school. The tune to the song we learned was lovely and soothing, every worshipful but as I consider the context of the rest of Psalm five it strikes me that perhaps it’s not coming across in quite the same way as King David originally meant it to.
As the psalm progresses the next thing David writes about is the fact that God isn’t someone that takes pleasure in wickedness. Evil will not dwell, and neither will the boastful stand, in the presence of the Lord. God will destroy liars and he hates the violent and deceitful.
Because of all of this David declares that he will come to worship in God’s house in fear claiming his mercy.
In verse eight David pleads for God to make the way straight and lead him in his righteousness because of his enemies. I believe that David prays this prayer because of the influence that these people have upon him. He finds himself being drawn away from the life that God’s calling him to live because of the advice and influence of ungodly people.
It’s not that they’re not necessarily smart, insightful, and decent people but all of that doesn’t always equate with godliness, and godly influences are to be preferred over merely smart, creative, or entertaining.
I detect in Psalm five a note of desperation mixed with hope. David knows he’s too weak in his own strength to stand long against the power of the storm of ungodly influences upon him. He knows that at times he’s wooed by the invitations and enticements of unconverted family and friends and at other times provoked by his ungodly enemies, and he realizes that regardless of what his relationship to the source of the temptation is the result is the same, he’s led into sin. But in the midst of all this he knows God’s ready to help him.
So Psalm five is a plea for help. And David’s cry needs to be our cry.
“O God this morning I’m coming to you, I’m looking to you, I’m relying on you, you’re my only hope and strength. I know you’re a God of righteousness and that nothing evil can exist in your sight and it’s in your presence I want to live. But I’m unable to defend myself from the influence of the ungodly in my life; the temptations and provocations are just too much for me. Strengthen me, O God, defend me so that today I can live for you, and all my joy, and all my praise, and all my happiness will found in you.”