Hear me, O Lord, as I cry for help and pray to you alone.
As I pray this morning, I lay my requests at your feet and wait expectantly, for I know you hear my prayers.
You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness, arrogance, and bloodthirsty deceivers who speak lies as their native language.
You hate all who do wrong.
By your great love, I can come into your house. In reverence, I bow down in your presence.
Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness.
Make your way straight before me as I walk among those whose hearts are filled with malice. Their throats are open graves. All they do is lie. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.
But for those of us who love you, who take refuge in you, let us sing for joy. Protect us in this battle.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
In reading the NIVAC for this psalm, the author presents an intriguing phrase, “relentless goodness,” to describe our Lord. He explains “that from the beginning, God’s only intent was and still is to bless his creation.”* Amen! That is our God! Jesus perfectly embodies this concept in all his actions. Over and over, we see our Lord and Savior seek to bless and not curse, to love everyone. But there are those who are hell-bent on evil, those who mock the Lord and choose a path of destruction. While we must be careful not to judge hastily, we must not be confused: God hates all who do wrong. He detests the bloodthirsty and deceitful.
God’s holiness offers sinful humanity both its greatest problem and its greatest hope. Because a holy God cannot “wink” at sin or turn a blind eye to it, sinful humans find themselves under his judgment, in need of salvation and reconciliation. But because he is also relentlessly good, he has provided a way, first through Israel and ultimately through Christ, that they can be restored to right relationship with one another and with God in order to continue to receive blessing and not judgment.NIVAC*
In light of psalm 5, how do we love our enemies? Are we not commanded to pray for those who persecute us?
We feel constrained to moderate our anger and sense of injustice after the words of Jesus, “Bless those who curse you” (Luke 6:28; cf. Rom. 12:14). But the psalmist’s words call us to remember that Jesus was never afraid to call evil what it was or to take a firm stance of condemnation against all its forms. We too must take evil seriously, aligning ourselves with God’s essential character of holiness.NIVAC*
Lord, help me to judge wisely. I know that all are redeemable while there is still breath in their lungs. The Gospel message must continuously be offered as we rely on you to be the ultimate judge, not us. Help us to seek you first, not our own ways. Make your way straight before me (v8). I will trust in you alone.
*Walton, John H.; Wilson, Gerald H.; Koptak, Paul; Provan, Iain. NIVAC Bundle 3: Wisdom Books (The NIV Application Commentary) (p. 802). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Thoughts about serving others
This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.
My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.
Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.