Give ear to my words, O Lord;
    consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to you do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you[a] and watch.

For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not dwell with you.
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
    you hate all evildoers.
You destroy those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,
    will enter your house.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    in the fear of you.
Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make your way straight before me.

For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their inmost self is destruction;
their throat is an open grave;
    they flatter with their tongue.
10 Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against you.

11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
12 For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Introduction

The prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, wrote: “Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.” It makes one consider if he was thinking about Psalm 5 when he penned those brief words. Though brief, they say much because there are times in the life of a Christian when the words do not come as accurately as the heart seeks to convey. Sometimes, all one can do is “groan out” some prayer, weak and feeble as it may be. Yet, they are groans from the heart. Our Father in Heaven has never heard a perfect prayer from sinful creatures. It isn’t the eloquence of the prayer that moves the heart of our heavenly Father. It is the condition of the heart bathed in the Spirit’s willingness to perfect them and bring them to him.

In this Psalm, David is groaning. Yes, there are words recorded in his prayer book, but they are groans from a heart troubled by the circumstances of his life. We do not have much to go on in context, but whatever it was that troubled the king, it was difficult enough that he struggled to capture the prayer with words – though he does and records in this 5th Psalm. Perhaps the Holy Spirit left it ambiguous for us to allow us to apply this Psalm to a myriad of life struggles. Whatever the struggle, we can learn a few things from it.

First, you must resolve to pray when circumstances in life are difficult. When we read this Psalm, we take note of the references to hardship or difficulty facing the writer. For example, he lists “wickedness,” “evil,” and “evildoers.” He references those who “speak lies” and are “murderous” and “deceitful.” Therefore, David is not writing these words when the circumstances of his life are peachy. The sun is not shining. All seems bleak and dark. Yet, it is in the darkness of the storm that David resolves to pray. Note the tone of his prayer. It is one of urgency and pleading. The structure of the opening verse gives that impression as he functionally commands the God of heaven to listen to him.

What things are you wrestling with these days? They may be minor from the perspective of others, but they are not minor to you or your loving and faithful Father. He cares about those things. He is not a good and loving Father only to those suffering significantly. No. He is faithful daily to all those who fear him and are called by him. (1 Pet. 5:7; Lam. 3:22-25). Therefore, take your struggles to him and plead with him for relief. Pray for grace to sustain you and help you. Sometimes, those prayers will be difficult to express. It isn’t the eloquence that moves your Father’s heart. It is your dependence on him. Perhaps you wonder what to pray. The words don’t seem to come. Admit that to your heavenly Father. He knows your frame. He understands the sorrow.

Second, you must resolve to worship when circumstances of life are difficult. Notice how David references this in Psa. 5:7: “But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.”

He is determined to worship the God of heaven. He is not afraid to do that during difficult times, and he is not prevented from doing that due to frightening and hard circumstances. He knows that when he is in worship with God’s people, the Lord ministers to him through the Word and through like-minded saints who love God. I suspect we have some experience on this point. Life is hard. Enemies abound. The trials of this life are sometimes legion. Yet, they seem to fade into the background when we gather with other saints in worship on the Lord’s Day.

Additionally, it is in corporate worship that we sing praises to our redeeming God. Music is a powerful medium. It often lifts the soul of the downcast and discouraged. It is one of the reasons we sing in worship (Col. 3:16). Rarely do we know the struggles of our brothers and sisters in the church. Rarely do we know the things they are facing. Rarely do we know the level of discouragement they are facing. Therefore, sing! Sing with joy, for you do not know how that may encourage others around you and lift their languishing souls (Psa. 5:11).

Third, you must resolve to believe the promises of your heavenly Father. That is not always easy when facing a myriad of issues or struggles. The trials of this life can, sometimes, cause us to forget God’s promises. Sometimes, they get lost behind a dark cloud. Yet, David says, “For you bless the righteous, O Lord; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” (Psa. 5:12). It is true. It is a fact stated by your Father in heaven. He will protect you and help you. He will cover you with a shield, an instrument of defense against the efforts of the Evil One and dark and trying circumstances. You are not the shield. No. God is your shield, and he can cover you in ways that no human being could manage or imagine. Therefore, remember the promises your Father gives you when life is hard and things are difficult. Pray through them. Meditate on them. Rest easy in the favor of your God, who loves you, calls you the apple of his eye, and will never leave or forsake you.

Conclusion

Pray with fervency, plead with your heavenly Father. Resolve to set those matters before him.

Praise him in worship each Lord’s Day. Use the means God gives to restore your weary soul and relieve your burdens.

Trust his promises for you. His love extends far beyond any trial of this life.

 

 

 

Next Devotional: Psalm 7 (June 19)

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