The fifth psalm is a song for the flutes. And it begins with David praying in the morning. He asks the LORD to give ear to his words . . . to consider his groanings . . . to give attention to the sound of his cry. He prays because he is confident that His King and His God hears his voice. And so, he prepares his morning sacrifice, offers his morning petition, and then, he says, I will watch.
David would speak to heaven and then he would look up. He would offer his morning sacrifice and then wait in eager anticipation. He would pour out his heart before the throne of God, and then wait expectantly.
Jesus told His disciples to “watch and pray” that they might not enter into temptation (Matt. 26:41). David, in this song, says that he will “pray and watch” so that he might enter into fruitful meditation. And bear fruit it does.
As David eagerly anticipates a whisper from heaven, he is reminded of God’s holy character and of God’s gracious provision.
For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all evildoers. You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. But I, through the abundance of Your steadfast love, will enter Your house. I will bow down toward Your holy temple in the fear of You. (Psalm 5:4-7 ESV)
God is light . . . darkness cannot abide with Him. God is truth . . . falsehood cannot coexist with Him. He is holy . . . evil cannot dwell with Him.
As the songwriter waits upon the LORD, after offering his morning prayer, He is reminded of the nature of God. A God who delights not in wickedness, but abhors sin and will purge evil from His presence. God is pure. His fallen creation is defiled. God is righteous. Those made in His image have gone astray. God is holy. And David, knowing himself, is reminded that he is not.
And so, the man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) acknowledges, “Through the abundance of Your steadfast love, I will enter Your house” (v.7a).
Though more righteous than many, David does not tender his own works as sufficient reason to enter God’s house . . . “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isa. 64:6). Though the psalmist has tried hard to be a good follower of God, he does not plead his own merit . . .”for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). Instead, as he watches, he remembers that his entrance into the presence of God is based on the abundance of God’s steadfast love, and that alone.
The overflowing mercy of lovingkindness. The all sufficient grace sourced in unfailing love. Those are the keys permitting entrance into His holy temple.
So, as David prays and the quiets himself . . . as he petitions and then waits . . . as he offers supplication and then watches . . . he is reminded of the abundance of steadfast love.
Me too . . .