In this psalm, we find the psalmist crying out to God for deliverance, but also for more than deliverance. The desire is for God to vindicate His name and character as He destroys those who oppose His righteousness. “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 . . .” (Ps. 5:1-12). The psalm is given to the musician in charge of the wind instruments (nehiloth). The psalm is from David, and his trouble is great.
We beging with his prayer. David calls upon the Lord and asks Him to hearken. He asks God to consider, and give ear (vv. 1-2). In offering the prayer, David recognizes who God is (v. 2). He understands the Godness of God. This occurs in the morning — his thoughts turn to God when he awakes (v. 3). In the morning, David “assembles” his prayer. The word used here is the same as the word for arranging sacrifices on an altar, or shewbread on the table. He looks up, like a guard on a watchtower, looking for a return message. The words of this prayer are his morning sacrifice.
David knows about the hatred of God. He begins with understatement— God has “no pleasure” in iniquity. Evil cannot live with Him (v. 4). Fools wither when He looks at them, and God hates those who work iniquity (v. 5). You read that right — God hates these men. Those who speak lies He will destroy, and He loathes bloody, deceitful men (v. 6).
But there is a contrast. David is not like these men. Surrounded by His mercy, and in His fear of God, David worships toward the temple (v. 7). He prays for God’s righteous guidance and protection because of his enemies (v. 8). The men who oppose him, providing the contrast, are putrid and entirely corrupt (v. 9). Paul quotes this verse in Romans 3:13, applying it to all men everywhere. This is the natural condition of the human heart. David then pleads with God to take them out. The righteous cry out for God to display His righteous judgments. In particular, he prays that God would destroy them by their “own counsels” (v. 10).
There is still joy for those who love the Lord’s name. In a world filled with warfare, those who trust in God can rejoice and shout for joy (v. 11). God is their defender; those who love His name can rejoice. God blesses the righteous, and protects him with an encompassing buckler (v. 12).
All this relates to worship as warfare. Let’s return to what this passage says about the hatred of God. God is holy, and He hates sin. And the only place where He distinguishes sin from the sinner in any way is in the cross. Outside of Christ, God never distinguishes the sin and sinner. It is not the sin He throws in to the lake of fire.
We must remember what God does. He has “no pleasure” in some people (v. 4). He will not dwell with them (v. 4). His sight undoes the fool (v. 5), and He hates the worker of iniquity (v. 5). This is the same group that Jesus says will be told, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” God will destroy liars (v. 6). He abhors bloody and deceiful men (v. 6).
But where do such individuals come from? The answer is that they grow up from being little babies, and in many cases, they were very cute babies. And in such cases, even within the covenant, there was a first lie, a first deception, and it was a little thing. It was a little folly, it was a small iniquity. But if it was sin, this is like saying it was a small enormity.
For such fools, the devil has established a curriculum for fools. Our “popular” culture is a sewer pipe filled with the things condemned in this psalm. And a few words are offered to those young people who believe themselves mysteriously immune from the lies. They have taken the phrase “Christian worldview,” ground it to a fine dust, and sprinkled it over the tops of their heads. This keeps away the vampire of legalism. Thus protected with their Christian worldview hooba dust, and not in the armor of Christ, they go out to the movies. They tell their mom that it is only rated OP-13 — open sepulchre 13. They don’t want to go in; they just want to sit outside and smell the stench. And all the kids are smelling the stench and catching flies. If you think like this, and more than a few young covenant members do, you are aspiring to be hated and loathed by God. Lies surround us on every hand. Those who are enrolled in this curriculum of unbelief — CDs, video games, movies — then drop out.
One final word. The Bible tells us that we are engaged in a spiritual war, and that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. The Lord Jesus Christ is our buckler, and He will destroy His enemies and ours. The great concern is that we not drift to the point where we find ourselves numbered among those enemies.