From Chuck Lane
Questions for The Book of Psalms
Calvary Christian Fellowship
Questions for each Psalm.
1. Who is the Psalmist?
- Another morning prayer of David, to the Chief Musician upon nehiloth, which is likely a wind instrument such as a flute (not neginoth, the stringed instrument from Psalm 4). Perhaps this was sung by the appointed singers, the first choir of Jerusalem, accompanied by the first orchestra appointed by David at his Tabernacle (tent) where the Ark was housed (in Mishnah) until Solomon built the Temple (1 Chronicles 16:37-43; 1 Chronicles 25; CityDavidDraw.jpg )
2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?
- Whereas Psalm 4 was David’s cry out of distress, Psalm 5 is David calling out (with patience) from vexation with the prevailing evil and ungodliness that surrounded him, as well as you and me, and which has daily presented themselves to the contemplation of the faithful for all time.
3. Who is the audience?
- God is again addressed, in patience through tribulation, joy in the hope of deliverance in His perfect time, through His love.
4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?
- Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning. O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up [Ps. 5:1-3]
o When we wake up after a good night’s sleep, having rest in the LORD, and before we confront the mountains of vexation, the problems, the issues, the battles that continue to lie before us, we need to turn to Him in prayer, putting on the full armor of God. For we do not war against flesh and blood alone . . .
o It is David’s heartfelt prayer, as ours should be . . .
- For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing (falsehood): the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
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 [Ps. 5:4-7]
o Or is it as Jesus said and condemnation has been set in motion long, long ago, as a natural process of cause and effect ? ( John 3:19 ; Gen. 1;1-4)
o At any rate, David understood that he was as guilty as anyone (indeed, God describe him as a bloody man, not fit to build the temple he so desired to build), leading him to worship God through contrition, rather than pride, to receive mercy. ( Galatians 6:7 ; Psalm 51:6-7 )
- Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulcher; they flatter with their tongue [Ps. 5:8-9]
o David also understands that he “is the only Bible others may ever see.” That he is surrounded by those who call themselves friends watching, waiting for him to stumble (again), and if not ready to slander him with accusations built around dissimilation and lies. And so, he prays to be led by God, that he may not bring shame upon Our Father’s name. Paul, writing about such (MSM) pundits, puts it this way: ( Romans 3:13 )
- 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.
- 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.
- For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield [Ps. 5:10-12]
o Make no mistake, David was a powerful, bloody man of action, but also a prayerful one. Prayer, as we are seeing, is David’s “resource and recourse,” and this is the first “imprecatory” prayer recorded in the Psalms.
o Imprecatory prayer is prayer for justice, calling on God to bring judgment. Sometimes harsh judgment. We need to keep in mind that Old Testament times were a time of constant war, when people under the law were looking for justice and peace on earth . . . before the Prince of Peace had come and promised to return. There can be no peace without putting down unrighteousness and rebellion, which occupied much of mankind’s time as it does now. Apparently God intends to do what we only fail at and exacerbate, but again, only in His perfect time, according to His plan, not ours.
Hence, imprecatory prayers in the Old Testament are not uncommon; for instance Isaiah (64:1-2) writes: Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presences, As when the melting fire furneth, the fire causeth the water to boil, to make thy name kno to thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at thy presence!”
Even during the Lord’s time Jesus gives us the parable about the widow who goes to the judge asking for vengeance: Luke 18:3-8
And so, David in his day prayed for vengeance.
In the New Testament, however, we are told that we are to love our enemies ( Matthew 5:44), and that “vengeance is mine . . . saith the LORD” ( Romans 12:19-21 ), rather than call down God’s judgment on the opposition.
In Luke 9:51-56, while Jesus is passing through Samaria on his way to Jerusalem for the last time for the Passover, he sent disciples into a village to find lodging and succor while he waited. When the disciples returned with information that the Samaritans would not cater to them as they knew they were going to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, which the Samaritans did not believe in but rather went themselves to Shechem, where they believed God had commanded that the temple be built long before the tabernacle was established in Shiloh. We pick up the story as the Sons of Thunder become outraged with the rejection by the hated Samaritans: ( Luke 9:54-56 )
This is hard, turning the other cheek. When you are hit in the nose, it’s natural to hit back. When the world operates from the rule “Do unto others before they do unto,” taking a perpetual defensive posture is deemed a sign of weakness, inviting abuse. But still, taking matters into our own hands is not walking with Him by faith. God wants us to trust Him to take care of our enemies. To do otherwise is sin. And if you take a moment to think about it, well let’s just say there are times I have felt sorry for my enemies and it wasn’t because of anything I had done against them. “If not but for the grace of God . . .”. And you can pray that perhaps it’s the LORD’s way of moving them closer to Himself, as he does with you and me when He takes us out behind the woodshed.
Indeed, sinner, if we do not receive the discipline from Our Father as we need, we should re-evaluate our relationship: Hebrews 12:1-10 . Perhaps this is why James tells us to rejoice in our trials, our tests, to grow patience during our seasons of vexation (whether brought on by our own doing, or by the doing of others), by turning to, and trusting in, Him. James 1:2-4
When we come to understand these words “. . . Vengeance is mine; I will repay . . .” there is comfort, not fear or regret or doubt.
5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate? (done)
6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? (use and context) http://www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-NT-quotations.htm
7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?).