Psalm 5 is a perfect example of how in our prayers, we can and should think of ways to present our case to God when we ask for his action. David very carefully present the seriousness of his situation, then reminds God of his own attributes of holiness and rewarder of the faithful. David then ask boldly for God to act in a decisive manner. Just as David was bold to paint a picture before God, and to ask God to take action so should we.
Main Point: David’s main aim in this Psalm is to present his case before God, and for God to act to destroy the evil men who are the cause of his pain and distress. So how does David present his case then?
David begins this psalm similarly to psalm 4, asking for God to hear his prayer. David’s situation whatever it was, was enough produce sighing and crying. This brings up a picture of a man who is very distressed, and who has no answers of his own. David, also reminds God of his faithfulness, and dependence upon him for an answer. I love the image of David bringing God a sacrifice, and then waiting upon an answer for him. It shows his utter dependence upon God.
David then reminds God of how he is a Holy God, and how the sinner can not stand before him. David is like a skilled lawyer building his case before a Judge; reminding the Judge of his own attributes that will spring him into action on David’s behalf.
David also uses from very descriptive terms for those who oppose him. The wicked are boastful in verse 5, and in verse 6 are liars and bloodthirsty. This really contrast with David, who bows down in reverence and fear toward the temple. He asks for God to lead him in righteousness. In verse 7 though David makes it clear that this difference is because of the steadfast love of God, not any attribute of David. It should serve to remind us that the righteousness we have is due to God’s love, not because of us.
David then quickly turns his attention to the wicked and how their lies bring destruction. He uses the very descriptive phrase of “their throats are open graves.” It is a way to remind God of the destruction that they bring, but also serves to remind us that lies are not things to be played with. They have consequences.
So David has shown God his dependence upon him, reminded God of his Holiness, Described the wicked for what they truly are, again reminded God of his faithfulness and dependence upon him, and then again described the wicked. Now David makes his call for action. He ask God to deal with the wicked just as he said what God would do to them in verses 4-6. He ask God to make them bear their Guilt, and for them to be cast out from God’s presence. David has presented the case almost so that if God fails to act in the way David ask he would be betraying his holiness. Such boldness would shock most of us if we heard it in a Church.
He finishes then by asking for God to spread his protection over the those who put their trust in the Lord so that they can take pleasure in the Lord, and sing joyful praise to him. David in his own words is saying “when you grant my prayer, and protect us from these evil men I will sing your praise.” David has not only presented a case that is hinged on God following his own character, but also by promising that his action will lead to the worship of God.
Emotional Reactions: I am hard pressed to identify with parts of this psalm, because I don’t think I have ever been angry enough to ask God to destroy someone. However that being said, it reminds me of my dependence upon God, and therefore brings up humility for me. It also reminds me of the Blessing of the protection of the Lord, and that brings me joy and confidence.