Morning Light – May 6th, 2016
Today: [Psalms Five] David’s Morning Routine. In this psalm we see the morning routine of David. King David like all of us had a morning routine. He included God in his thoughts first thing and sought God every morning to examine his thought life and prayer life. Verbalized prayer was an important part of David’s prayer habit and it was important for him to exercise himself in prayer early in his day. He didn’t shellac his shortcoming or failings or pretend he didn’t have any problems. He simply started every day with a petition for God’s mercy from a posture of transparency, faith and trust that God was working in his behalf.
[Psa 5:1-12 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.]] Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. 2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. 3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct [my prayer] unto thee, and will look up.
The previous psalm ends with David declaring he will lay down and sleep peacefully because God is his defense. This fifth psalm opens with David rising up and making his voice heard in the morning. The question could be asked then did David influence the numbering of the psalms? The book of psalms is one book due to its unique content compared to other books of the bible that we can ask whether or not the numbering or arrangement and order of these psalms was inspired and from where did it originate?
In Acts 13:33 we do see that the second psalm in the book of psalm in our version of the scripture is the same as it was in the days of the events of the book of Acts. The book of psalms in the general form in which we find it was known to be the prayer book of the restoration temple built by Zerubbabel 5 centuries before the time of Jesus. It was also known to have been in use likewise as a prayer book in the temple of Herod in Jesus’ day as well. Therefore we know the book existed and was in use for centuries and we can conjecture that it was handed down from David’s time in somewhat the form that it emerges in the 5th century before Jesus.
It is not preposterous to suppose that David or Solomon influence the order in which these first psalms were arranged and in fact David might have written psalm 1 – 5 in the order they are presented to us. How many psalms did David write? 73 of the 150 psalms are traditionally ascribed to David. Is this all that David wrote? There are suggestions that came out of the Dead Sea scrolls that David wrote as many as 3600 psalms and other writings as well. Of course modern scholarship and theologians for the most part reject the supposition that David wrote any of the psalms or that David even existed for that matter which is just a reflection of the deep skepticism in biblical scholarship today.
Many more devotionally minded academics for centuries have believed there is in the book of Psalms a meta-narrative (between the lines code or secret message) in the Psalms. Augustine in the 4th century believed this as well observing that the “The sequence of the Psalms seems to me to contain the secret of a mighty mystery, but its meaning has not been revealed to me.” Suffice to say in the very least that the order of the psalms is not the random happenstance of a later translator’s work but in fact originated in antiquity possibly in the time and season that the Davidic psalms were actually written and perhaps by David or Solomon themselves.
So in Psalm 4:8 David is lying down for a good night’s rest because he believes that God is taking care of him in the midst of difficulty, and in chapter 5 he gets up the next morning to voice his prayer afresh and anew. In verse 1 he petitions the Father to give ear to his voice and invites Him to consider his meditation. The word meditation here means “musing, murmuring or whispering”. How many of us in our lives would rather that God not consider or give ear to our thought life. David wants God to put His attention on his musings because they reflect David’s deep trust in God and hopeful expectation of blessing and deliverance in his life.
In verse 2 David again makes mention of verbalized prayer. In Psalm 3:4 David declares that he would “cry unto the Lord with [his] voice.” To David meditation and musing is one thing and prayer is another. He wants the Father to make note of his thought life but also desires that the Father take heed to his words spoken out loud in prayer. In essense he is saying to God “listen to what I’m saying and what I’m not saying…”
In verse 3 David establishes the time of his resort to God in prayer as in the morning. He is directing his prayer to God and looking up to God to be his salvation and not any other resource. Kings that came after David looked to Syria, Assyria and Egypt to send mercenaries to help them with their internal strifes and outward invasions but David is making the point that he sees God as his salvation and not any outward instrumentality.
When you get into trouble what is your first resort. If you like David wake up to trouble what do you do? Call the banker? The doctor? The pastor? Some other resource? If remember as a young man I would get in a problem and cry out to God and then immediately call or go see my parents for help. One day my father asked me “son when is the time going to come that I am no longer your answer to prayer?” In other words I was feigning faith in God but expecting my parents to solve my problem. I needed to learn as my wife Kitty says to “get it from God…” Are you looking to others to solve your problems or are you trusting in God? Are you allowing others to lean on you for what they should be looking to God for? This is very unproductive because God is a jealous God. What you allow to come between you and God – God will remove.
4 For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come [into] thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: [and] in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
In verses 4-6 David acknowledges that God will not tolerate wickedness. Why is he saying this? Because David himself has done some pretty vile things in his life and he is making it known just because he is trusting in God doesn’t mean he thinks God is pretending that he hasn’t been an offender of the worst kind. This is David’s attempt at being self-correcting. In David’s lifetime there were very few raised up by God to correct him. There was Nathan the prophet and David so appreciated Nathan that he named one of his children after him. However for the most part David had to hold himself accountability and live his life before God on his own recognizance. This was not without controversy particularly in the matter of Bathsheba and Uriah where David committed adultery and murder yet not for one day did the crown leave his head nor did he remove himself from the throne. Yet God still endorses David as a man after His own heart. This tells us that many of the punishments and remediatorial programs we force upon fallen Christians and leaders often smack of a Pharisaical hypocrisy that contradicts the example that God gives us in David. Much correction in the body of Christ is more geared to satisfy unforgiving Christians than it is to actually rehabilitate the offenders.
In verse 6 David acknowledges that God will abhor a bloody man. This is interesting because David realized that he had been accused by the former servants of king Saul to be that bloody man. There is even an implication in 1 Chron. 22:8 that the blood shed by David’s hand was why God didn’t allow David to build the temple. Again David is being transparent before God. He isn’t hiding his liabilities or things in God’s sight that are not positive attributes of his character or personal history.
In spite of David’s self-deprecation then in verse 7 he maintains that he will still move toward God in expectation of His mercy. David worshipped God not in expectation of judgment but in expectation of mercy. He knew something of the character of God and looked beyond his day of strict judgment under the law and saw God as a loving Father willing to forgive and bless and give favor in spite of David’s at times egregious shortcomings.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face. 9 For [there is] no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part [is] very wickedness; their throat [is] an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue. 10 Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee. 11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. 12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as [with] a shield.
In verse 8 David reminds God that he has enemies both within and without his kingdom and asks the Father to lead him through the midst of the situations that others would take advantage of to harm him. Verse 9 is quoted in the book of Romans by Paul as a description of the sinful character of man whose “throat is an open sepulcher, whose inward parts were very wickedness”. David always kept his mind clear about his own shortcomings and the fallen human nature in those around him. In all of this he expected and petitioned God for mercy. In verse 10 he boldly prays that the counsel of the ungodly around him and against him would be destroyed and brought to nothing.
In your life’s experience you will know what it is to be plotted against by people. Not everyone rejoices when things go right in your life. Sometimes even those close to you will do and say things that are harmful and even intended to diminish you and rob you of peace and God’s blessing. David understood this and didn’t approach it as a victim. He asked God to move in the situation and destroy the strategy of hell against him even when it involved people close to him such as Joab and Absalom and Ahitophel, his closest counselor (the father of Bathsheba).
David considered the people who resisted him to be in rebellion against God. This is because he knew that he was God’s chosen king. The fact that David failed and sinned himself did not change the fact that he was the anointed of God. David recognized this in Saul when he refused to harm his former king and he recognized it in himself because he knew that he was brought to the kingdom and established by God to rule over the nation of Israel. Your prayers have to be rooted in knowledge of the will of God in your own life and situation. You have to know that you know that you know regardless of criticisms justified or unjustified brought against you by people with their own agendas.
In verse 11 David determines that in spite of the counsels and plans of his enemies that he is going to rejoice. He is going to rejoice because he puts his trust in God. He knows and you should know that God is going to defend you. You love the Lord and you have permission to be joyful. God does not expect you to live in enforce, strained and in fact forced sobriety based on false humility. Just be thankful, trusting in God and expecting His mercy to be shown in your life. God will protect you as verse 12 concludes and surround you with His favor as with a shield.
Morning Light – May 6th, 2016