Scripture reading – Psalm 5; Psalm 38

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Departing from my narrative devotional style, I am posting today’s Scripture readings with amplifications of word meanings in brackets and italicized. The Scriptures are in bold font, and I have underlined truths you are invited to ponder in your meditations.

Psalm 5

How do you begin your mornings? I confess that I am the dreaded “morning person.” I generally wake up well before the alarm, ready to start the day. How do you suppose David began his mornings? The answer to that question is found in Psalm 5.  


A Morning Prayer (Psalm 5:1-3)

Psalm 5:1-3 – Give ear [hearken; listen] to my words, O LORD, consider [understand; regard; discern] my meditation [musings; whisper].

2  Hearken [be attentive] unto the voice [sound] of my cry [i.e., cry for help], my King, and my God [i.e., Mighty God]: for unto thee will I pray [make supplication].

3  My voice [lit. the sound of my voice] shalt thou hear in the morning [dawn; early morning], O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up [behold; keep watch].

The Comfort of God’s Holiness (Psalm 5:4-6)

4  For thou art not a God that hath pleasure [delight] in wickedness [iniquity; evil]: neither shall evil [wickedness] dwell [sojourn] with thee.
5  The foolish
[boasters] shall not stand [continue; remain] in thy sight [presence; face]: thou hatest [set against; detest] all workers [doers] of iniquity [wickedness; evil; unrighteousness].
6  Thou shalt destroy
[annihilate] them that speak leasing [lies; deceit; falsehood]: the LORD will abhor [detest; loathe] the bloody [guilty; bloodthirsty] and deceitful [dishonest] man.


An Affirmation of Congregational Worship (Psalm 5:7-8)

7  But as for me, I will come into thy house [tabernacle; temple] in the multitude [abundance] of thy mercy [loving-kindness]: and in thy fear [reverence; i.e., fear of one superior] will I worship [bow down; prostrate] toward thy holy [consecrated; sanctified] temple.
8  Lead
[guide; bring] me, O LORD, in thy righteousness [justice] because of mine enemies [adversaries; hostile foes]; make thy way [journey; road; course of life] straight [pleasing; right; i.e. lawful] before my face.


A Denunciation of the Wicked (Psalm 5:9-10)

9  For there is no faithfulness [truth] in their mouth [speech]; their inward part [heart] is very wickedness [perverse; iniquity; destructive]; their throat [mouth] is an open sepulcher [grave; tomb]; they flatter [smooth] with their tongue [language; speech].
10  Destroy
[punish; make desolate] thou them, O God; let them fall [fall down; be cast down] by their own counsels [purpose; devices; plans]; cast them out [drive out; banish; disperse] in the multitude of their transgressions [sins; rebellion]; for they have rebelled [provoked; disobeyed] against thee.


An Assurance for the Righteous (Psalm 5:11-12)

11  But let all those that put their trust [confide; i.e., make God their refuge] in thee rejoice [be glad; joyful; i.e., make merry]: let them ever [evermore; forever] shout for joy [sing; rejoice; i.e., be overcomers], because thou defendest [cover; i.e., put a hedge about] them: let them also that love thy name [i.e., God’s name embodies His person and character] be joyful [jump for joy; exult; triumph] in thee.
12  For thou, LORD, wilt bless
[abundantly bless] the righteous [lawful; innocent; just]; with favour[delight] wilt thou compass [surround; encircle] him as with a shield [i.e., a prickly guard].

Psalm 38 – An Introduction

Psalm 38 does not indicate the time or circumstances that inspired this song of worship. The editors attributed David as the author, and its content indicates it was at a time of trial, sickness, and sorrow in the king’s life.


David Plea for Mercy. (Psalm 38:1-5)

Psalm 38:1-5 – O LORD, rebuke [reprove; correct] me not in thy wrath [anger]: neither chasten [discipline; instruct] me in thy hot displeasure [wrath; indignation].

2  For thine arrows stick fast [sink; come down] in me, and thy hand presseth me sore [press down, as in a bed of affliction].

3  There is no soundness [health; freedom from disease] in my flesh [body] because of thine anger [fury; indignation]; neither is there any rest [peace; welfare; health] in my bones [body] because of my sin.
4  For mine iniquities
[sins; punishment; perversity; guilt] are gone over [passed over] mine head: as an heavy [grievous; difficult; great] burden [load] they are too heavy [burdensome] for me.
5  My wounds
[stripes; scourging] stink [abhor; loathsome; foul] and are corrupt [decay; fester] because of my foolishness [folly; stupidity; silliness].

David’s Complaint of Physical Illness (Psalm 38:6-10)

6  I am troubled [weary; in the throes of pain]; I am bowed down [cast down; depressed; humbled] greatly [exceedingly]; I go mourning [shadowed by darkness] all the day [time] long.
7  For my loins
[stomach; hips; sides] are filled [overflow] with a loathsome [burning] disease: and there isno soundness in my flesh [whole body sick with disease].
8  I am feeble
[faint; weary] and sore broken [contrite; spirit broken]: I have roared [groaned; moaned] by reason of the disquietness [roaring; groaning; growling] of my heart [mind; seat of feelings and affections].

9  Lord [Master], all my desire [longing] is before thee; and my groaning  [sighs; sorrows; mourning] is not hid from thee.
10  My heart
panteth [throbs; beats], my strength [power; might; ability] faileth [forsake; abandon] me: as for the light [life; vision] of mine eyes [sight], it also is gone [failing] from me.

David’s Loneliness, Deserted by Friends and Family (Psalm 38:11)

11  My lovers [those who claimed to be friends] and my friends [neighbor; companions; peers] stand aloof from my sore [calamities; wound; i.e., leprous spot]; and my kinsmen [family; kindred] stand afar off [far from].


David’s Enemies Attacked When He Was Weak. (Psalm 38:12)

12  They also that seek [require; desire] after my life [soul] lay snares [traps] for me: and they that seek my hurt [calamity; distress] speak [say] mischievous things [wicked; perverse], and imagine [speak; declare; plot] deceits [false; guile; treachery] all the day long.


David Refused to Answer His Critics. (Psalm 38:13-14)

13  But I, as a deaf man, heard [hearken; obey] not; and I was as a dumb man [speechless; mute] thatopeneth not his mouth. (note 2 Samuel 16:10)
14  Thus I was as a man that heareth not
[hearken; obey], and in whose mouth are no reproofs [rebuke; arguments].


David Prayed to the LORD and Confessed His Sins. (Psalm 38:15-19)

15  For in thee, O LORD, do I hope [wait; tarry]: thou wilt hear , O Lord my God.
16  For I said, Hear me, lest otherwise they should rejoice over me: when my foot slippeth
[moved; fall], they magnify [praise; promote; advance] themselves against me.
17  For I am ready
[prepared] to halt [limp; fall; stumble], and my sorrow [pain; grief] is continually before me.
18  For I will declare
[tell; confess] mine iniquity [fault; sin]; I will be sorry [afraid; anxious] for my sin.
19  But mine enemies are lively
[alive; living], and they are strong [mighty; increased]: and they that hate [detest] me wrongfully [lie; lying; deceit] are multiplied [increased].

David’s Enemies Hated Him for His Righteousness. (Psalm 38:20)

20  They also that render [reward; repay] evil [hurt; trouble] for good [pleasant; pleasing; right; best] are mine adversaries [attackers; accusers]; because I follow [pursue] the thing that good is [pleasant; pleasing; right; best].


David Appealed to the LORD for Help (Psalm 38:21-22)

21  Forsake [leave; abandon] me not, O LORD: O my God, be not far from me.
22  Make haste
[hurry] to help [assist; support] me, O Lord my salvation [deliverance; rescue; i.e. savior].

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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