The Abundance of Your Steadfast Love
.: Psalm 5 :.
By Lee Jones
The God-centeredness of the Psalms is incredible, even while they document human emotions at the same time. That’s one of the greatest lessons from the Psalms, in my opinion: keeping your sights on YHWH despite your circumstances.
Verses 1 and 2 give us a glimpse of that. David implores YHWH to give attention to his cries. And that brings us to a provocative statement in v. 3, “In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.” Other translations may say he will “prepare a sacrifice for you.” Translators may debate about the exact meaning of the original Hebrew phrase, but the practical implication is the same: when we bring our requests to God, we wait in expectant faith to see his answer (whether yes, no, or wait). Incidentally, this verse is used often in morning prayer liturgies, such as in the Treasury of Daily Prayer that I use (thanks to Shawn).
David then reminds himself, and us by extension, that God doesn’t delight in wickedness and that evil doesn’t dwell with Him. He instead hates and destroys bloodthirsty, evildoing liars.
We know the way was made straight for David’s descendant according to the flesh, Jesus Christ, through whom the steadfast love of YHWH has been mediated from the foundation of the world.
Now we know David isn’t much different than those men. He did his share of lying, bloodshed, and deceit, among other sins. So what makes him able to bring prayers to God and watch for answer?
The key is in verse 7 (and also in the title of this blog): The abundance of YHWH’s steadfast love. By having received that love from God, he may enter God’s house and bow down in fear of Him. Only because of that love can he pray verse 8, “Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.”
We know the way was made straight for David’s descendant according to the flesh, Jesus Christ, through whom the steadfast love of YHWH has been mediated from the foundation of the world. He also made the way to salvation as straight as straight can be: directly through him.
David can catalog those who do not abide in YHWH’s love. Paul uses verse 9 (“their throat is an open grave”) in Romans 3. Those who hate God never change in their behavior; rebellion is rebellion. Sadly for them, as David writes, God will make them bear their own sins into eternal torment. Pray for the lost and bring them the gospel.
Contrasting remarkably is David’s picture of those abiding in Christ’s love. They are glad, they sing for joy, they are sheltered, and they exult in the name of the God who loves, favors and shields them. That too is unchanging, and I hope every believer who reads this post will meditate on that.
All of these good things are granted by grace alone, through faith alone, by the work of Christ alone. We know this by the word of scripture alone. And that brings me to the greatest of the five solas…
Glory to God alone.