Praying Life: Psalm 5:1-12

Praying Life: Psalm 5:1-12
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday July 10, 2022

Notes, not a Transcript

The writer of this Psalm is David.
When did he write it?  What was going on – I don’t know. 
We don’t have any real clues here. 
Some would say he is writing about Absalom, others during the time after peaceful possession of the kingdom after Saul’s death. 
It wasn’t during exile because, as we’ll see in verse 7, he could enter the house and worship in the temple. 

Maybe as we mentioned writing about the time of Absalom, but no matter, David’s life wasn’t short of the opportunity to write about those around him who were wicked and who transgressed. To write about strife and calamity.

Let’s look some at David before we start.
Perhaps you know of David and Goliath.  Maybe you have an inspirational quote like “slay your Goliath  .”

Slay Your Giants: Life Lessons from the Story of David and Goliath” found on Amazon said:
draws from the biblical story of David and Goliath, offering readers inspiration and encouragement for facing and defeating the spiritual “giants” in their lives, such as: grief, depression, procrastination, stress, perfectionism, anger and resentment, jealousy, lust, and loneliness.”
One review on Amazon said the following:
The book is very well written and interesting.  Mohney gives us direction and advice in dealing with some of the problems of life that keep us from living the abundant life Jesus came to give us.  I am using this book in a study with about 20 persons and all of us give it high reviews.”
Your giant-killing hero, David, in 1 Samuel 16 verses 14-23, is selected as a musician to play for the King, Saul. Let’s read it:

1 Samuel 16:14–23 (ESV)
14 Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a harmful spirit from the Lord tormented him. 
15 And Saul’s servants said to him, “Behold now, a harmful spirit from God is tormenting you. 
16 Let our lord now command your servants who are before you to seek out a man who is skillful in playing the lyre, and when the harmful spirit from God is upon you, he will play it, and you will be well.”

17 So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me a man who can play well and bring him to me.”

18 One of the young men answered, “Behold, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a man of good presence, and the Lord is with him.”
19 Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me David your son, who is with the sheep.”
20 And Jesse took a donkey laden with bread and a skin of wine and a young goat and sent them by David his son to Saul. 
21 And David came to Saul and entered his service.  And Saul loved him greatly, and he became his armor-bearer. 
22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, “Let David remain in my service, for he has found favor in my sight.”
23 And whenever the harmful spirit from God was upon Saul, David took the lyre and played it with his hand.  So Saul was refreshed and was well, and the harmful spirit departed from him.

So we have David in Bethlehem in the field working on the family farm, chosen to play for the king.  David is the youngest of 8, born to Jessee of the tribe of Judah.  This is the tribe that produced both David and Solomon and is also where the messiah would come.
When we skip to 1 Samuel 17, we see the Philistines were ready for battle.  In verse 2, Saul and the men of Israel were gathered in the Valley to fight.  This is where we meet Goliath in Verse 4, and he is described as.  Ring huge and a bad man from verses 5-8.  In verse 11, we read:

1 Samuel 17:1-8 (ESV)
1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies for battle. And they were gathered at Socoh, which belongs to Judah, and encamped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim.
2 And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered, and encamped in the Valley of Elah, and drew up in line of battle against the Philistines.
3 And the Philistines stood on the mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.
4 And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.
5 He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze.
6 And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders.
7 The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him.
8 He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.

1 Samuel 17:11 (ESV)
11 When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.

David’s there, right? 
No, but his three oldest brothers were,

1 Samuel 17:14–15 (ESV)
14 David was the youngest.  The three eldest followed Saul,
15 but David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.

So while all the men of Israel are gathered to defend, David is going back and forth, tending to the sheep and carrying messages. 
Why so much time on David? 

We’re natural hero worshipers.  Look at sports, movies, and tv. We find a hero in anything.  We see in David’s psalm the secret to his few successes amid his many failures: return and reliance on God.  The point of David isn’t David, it’s GOD!

David is the anti hero, but we love him anyway.
When David was David’s hero, he defiled marriages. He succeeded in inspiring his son Absalom to want to kill him (after Absalom killed his stepbrother (Ammon) for raping Tamar, his own step-sister). David pretended to be crazy and ran a hid in the from people despite God’s many promises to him. He hid from Saul (1 Samuel 1:21-23) he hid from Absalom (2 Samuel 15:14).

1 Samuel 1:21-23 (ESV)
Samuel Given to the Lord
21 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow.
22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the Lord and dwell there forever.”
23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

2 Samuel 15:14 (ESV)
14 And Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?”

In the story of Goliath and here in this Psalm – we see David’s heroic side. We see David as a dependent worshiper of God.
This is why though David, when trusting himself messed up colossally, could be said to have been after God’s own Heart by Paul in Acts 13

Acts 13:13–23 (ESV)
Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia
13 Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia.  And John left them and returned to Jerusalem,
14 but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia.  And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. 
15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for the people, say it.”
16 So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said:
“Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. 
17 The God of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. 
18 And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. 
19 And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. 
20 All this took about 450 years.  And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. 
21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. 
22 And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’
23 Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised.

So let’s read this psalm whose timing is unknown to us but whose author we know so well.

Psalm 5:1-12 (ESV)
 To the choirmaster: for the flutes.  A Psalm of David.
  1    Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
  2    Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.


David here talks about his passionate approach to God in prayer.   Consider my a) groaning and my b) crying. 
We see similarities with Psalm 39:3

Psalm 39:3 (ESV)
  3        My heart became hot within me.
       As I mused, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:
Similar words are used to describe the prayer here. The specific ask or terms of the prayers the ask aren’t illustrated.  Rather the purpose of the Psalmist’s approach to God is described as a feeling mixed with words.  These are deeply passionate prayers, and this is where David succeeded – where David’s trust of himself ends and where he is describable as being “after God’s own heart.” 
This is the King over Israel coming to God in a loud cry, praying to “my king and My God” he has a healthy understanding of God as king over all “Psalm 10:16, 44:4, and so many more).

Psalm 10:16 (ESV)
16 The Lord is king forever and ever;    the nations perish from his land.

Psalm 44:4 (ESV)
4 You are my King, O God;    ordain salvation for Jacob!

The people wanted a king,

1 Samuel 8:6–22 (ESV)
6 But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. 
7 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. 
8 According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. 
9 Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”
Samuel’s Warning Against Kings
10 So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking for a king from him. 
11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. 
12 And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 
13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 
14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. 
15 He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. 
16 He will take your male servants and female servants and the best of your young men and your donkeys, and put them to his work. 
17 He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 
18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”
The Lord Grants Israel’s Request
19 But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel.  And they said, “No!  But there shall be a king over us,
20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”
21 And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. 
22 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.” Samuel then said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

David knows the rightful king and prays:

  3    O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
  4    For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;
evil may not dwell with you.
  5    The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
you hate all evildoers.
  6    You destroy those who speak lies;
the Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.


Coming to God in the morning (see Numbers 28:4, consistent with Job 1:5).  Why, V4 be prayerful in the morning, because God doesn’t delight in wicked – because those who lie and are bloodthirsty are deceitful and don’t stand one of my favorite Psalms is Psalm 73 split by verse 17, the first passage I ever taught on

Psalm 73:16–17 (ESV)
16    But when I thought how to understand this,
it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17    until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I discerned their end.
Numbers 28:4 (ESV)
4 The one lamb you shall offer in the morning, and the other lamb you shall offer at twilight;

Job 1:5 (ESV)
5 And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.

How often do we consider not God and His character but the perceived strength of those around us, and we react to that perceived strength, or perhaps even our own perceived power. 
Why did David defeat Goliath? 
Here is the key to it all:

1 Samuel 17:26b (ESV)
26[…] For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”


1 Samuel 17:45–47 (ESV)
45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head.  And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear.  For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”

David trusted God’s providence and knew God would prevail.  He trusted God – and that’s what we see in this prayer:

  7    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.
  8    Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness
because of my enemies;
make your way straight before me.

How does David enter God’s presence?  Through the abundance of God’s steadfast love, just like us.  We’re seeing in David’s psalm the secret to his few successes amid his many failures: return and reliance on God.

Hebrews 4:16 (ESV)
16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  9    For there is no truth in their mouth;
their inmost self is destruction;
       their throat is an open grave;
they flatter with their tongue.
10    Make them bear their guilt, O God;
let them fall by their own counsels;
       because of the abundance of their transgressions cast them out,
for they have rebelled against you.


David is un-restrained in his prayer. 
I’m reminded of the story of Ahithophel and Absolom in 2 Samuel 17 (in the interest of time, I encourage you to read it this week).  In short:

2 Samuel 17:20–23 (ESV)
20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.
21 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David.  They said to David, “Arise, and go quickly over the water, for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.”
22 Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan.  By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.
23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city.  He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

David is shifting off his concern for those around him to God.  With that shift of concern, David could rejoice:

11    But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
       and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12    For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.


Church, I know we spent a lot of time looking at the story of David generally and in 1st and 2nd Samuel.  I pray you were encouraged by David’s frankly insane life.
Perhaps in many ways, David authored his failures through pride, self-reliance, and sometimes by indulging his fear and self-pity.  But he could return to God, bringing his deepest woes to God. How much more us?
Do we rely on God?  Do we come to him for refreshment in prayer?  Consider this rightful king’s prayers again;

 Psalm 5:1-2 (ESV)
1    Give ear to my words, O Lord;
consider my groaning.
  2    Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.

Here we see in David’s psalm the secret to his few successes amid his many failures: return and reliance on God. 
David, who trusted God with the philistine needing no ill-fitting armor, simply rocks.  To David, who was afraid of his own son running and hiding.
Let’s be like the prayerful trusting David and be after God’s own heart.  But, it requires a purposeful return to God; starting our days focused on the main thing and trusting as Jesus taught us to pray:
Read this week Psalm 5 (our call to lives of prayer), 2 Samuel 17 (the story of Ahithophel and Absolom), and Matthew 6:5-8 Jesus’ teaching us to pray – and then live that out this week.

Matthew 6:5-8 (ESV)
The Lord’s Prayer

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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