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Psalms 5; 38; 41-42     Listen Podcast

Let's live right before God today (Psalm 5)

To the Chief Musician. With flutes. A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

David is named in the introduction as the author of this one. It was likely written to the guy in charge of the wind-instrument section of the choir. Remember back in I Chronicles 15 (see notes) when David appointed a very large number of Levites to make up a choir and orchestra? Now he's giving them material. Paul quotes from verse 9 in Romans 3:13 (see notes) as he writes about the depravity of man when he wrote, "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips."

Who are these wicked about whom David is speaking. He reveals their identity in verse 10 when he says of them, "...they have rebelled against You." So...these aren't just people who have resisted David and his leadership, but those who have rebelled against God himself. David is calling upon God for the destruction of these enemies of God. And the righteous? Blessings be upon them.

David is sick, real sick (Psalm 38)

A Psalm of David. To bring to remembrance.
1 ¶ O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!
2 For Your arrows pierce me deeply,
And Your hand presses me down.
3 There is no soundness in my flesh
Because of Your anger,
Nor any health in my bones
Because of my sin.
4 For my iniquities have gone over my head;
Like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
5 My wounds are foul and festering
Because of my foolishness.
6 I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly;
I go mourning all the day long.
7 For my loins are full of inflammation,
And there is no soundness in my flesh.
8 I am feeble and severely broken;
I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.
9 Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
10 My heart pants, my strength fails me;
As for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me.
11 My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague,
And my relatives stand afar off.
12 Those also who seek my life lay snares for me;
Those who seek my hurt speak of destruction,
And plan deception all the day long.
13 But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
And I am like a mute who does not open his mouth.
14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear,
And in whose mouth is no response.
15 For in You, O LORD, I hope;
You will hear, O Lord my God.
16 For I said, “Hear me, lest they rejoice over me,
Lest, when my foot slips, they exalt themselves against me.”
17 For I am ready to fall,
And my sorrow is continually before me.
18 For I will declare my iniquity;
I will be in anguish over my sin.
19 But my enemies are vigorous, and they are strong;
And those who hate me wrongfully have multiplied.
20 Those also who render evil for good,
They are my adversaries, because I follow what is good.
21 Do not forsake me, O LORD;
O my God, be not far from me!
22 Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation!

Psalm 38 was written by David and is one of the seven penitential psalms, the others being Psalm 6 (see notes), Psalm 32 (see notes), Psalm 51 (see notes), Psalm 102 (see notes), Psalm 130 (see notes) and Psalm 143 (see notes). David may be sick, but he's not too sick to write down his thoughts in the form of a poem. It is obvious that he considers his infirmity a result of sinning against God, as seen in verses 1-5. In verses 6-11, David describes some of the symptoms of his physical ailment. Apparently his symptoms are so obvious that he is considered contagious by his friends. Without question, David is repenting (verses 12-17) as he further credits God with bringing chastisement upon him for the sin. Look at verse 18, "For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin." Whatever he has carries some horrific symptoms. And then there are his enemies; they're rejoicing in his illness. David cries out for forgiveness and healing.

David's looking for a little relief (Psalm 41)

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
1 ¶ Blessed is he who considers the poor;
The LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.
2 The LORD will preserve him and keep him alive,
And he will be blessed on the earth;
You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD will strengthen him on his bed of illness;
You will sustain him on his sickbed.
4 I said, “LORD, be merciful to me;
Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.”
5 My enemies speak evil of me:
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies;
His heart gathers iniquity to itself;
When he goes out, he tells it.
7 All who hate me whisper together against me;
Against me they devise my hurt.
8 “An evil disease,” they say, “clings to him.
And now that he lies down, he will rise up no more.”
9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But You, O LORD, be merciful to me, and raise me up,
That I may repay them.
11 By this I know that You are well pleased with me,
Because my enemy does not triumph over me.
12 As for me, You uphold me in my integrity,
And set me before Your face forever.
13 Blessed be the LORD God of Israel
From everlasting to everlasting!
Amen and Amen.

In this Psalm David talks about restoration from sickness again as he did in Psalm 38 (see above). It must be severe sickness; David refers to it as "an evil disease" in verse 8. As before, he ties this illness to sin as he says in verse 4, "I have sinned against You." He asks God to restore him so that his enemies will not gain pleasure from his infirmity. Notice verse 5, "My enemies speak evil of me: 'When will he die, and his name perish?'" He calls upon God to fulfill his promise to preserve him so that he might triumph over his enemies. And when David is considered by those around him to be near death (verse 8), even his close friend turns on him (verse 9).

The author uses a metaphor (Psalm 42)

To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah.
1 ¶ As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

It is impossible to say with certainty who wrote this Psalm - could be David. As the deer longs for a taste of water, so does the author's soul long for God. Here, the author is writing while waiting for deliverance, and in a few of these verses we see discouragement. However, the author is certain God will deliver him; you simply must focus on your faith relationship with the Lord.