Psalm 5 New King James Version (NKJV)
A Prayer for Guidance
To the Chief Musician. With [a]flutes. A Psalm of David.
5 Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my [b]meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil [c]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.
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 [d]Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no [e]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.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You [f]defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
Psalm 5 does not seem to have much for us. King David was the great king of ancient Israel. He had conniving and dangerous enemies, and he had the temptations of great power. What does he have to do with us?
It was difficult to be a king, but our temptations are bad enough that David prayers work for us too.
When David begins Psalm 5, he asks God to listen. In Jesus’ name, we can do the same. Just as David did, we can humble ourselves and pray earnestly. We can reflect upon who God is and what His Son did for us, that cross upon which He suffered for our sins.
Will God answer our prayers? Depends. Will our request bring glory to God? Look at what David asked for. He praised God by reminding himself that God hates evil. Then he pointed to his enemies. Don’t we, like David live in a world filled with boastful workers of iniquity? Don’t we each encounter dozens of tempting lies and deceits every day? Wouldn’t we be thrilled to see God destroy all bloodthirsty and deceitful men?
Vengeance belongs to God. We don’t have the wisdom to take our revenge on evil men.
So what did David ask for? Did he ask for the destruction of his foes, or did he beg for mercy and guidance?
Consider verses 7 and 8. Here is a king pleading with his Creator to reveal the true way forward. His way, not David’s way.
In the next two verses, David reiterates his distrust of the advice of the world, and yes, he does want his enemies destroyed, but he wants this for God’s glory, not his own.
Thus, David’s prayer ends in triumph, in the certainty that God defends those who love and trust Him.