Enter the House (Psalm 5)

Psalm 5

For the music leader. For the flutes. A psalm of David.

5 Hear my words, Lord!
    Consider my groans!
    Pay attention to the sound of my cries, my king and my God,
        because I am praying to you!
Lord, in the morning you hear my voice.
    In the morning I lay it all out before you.
    Then I wait expectantly.
Because you aren’t a God
    who enjoys wickedness;
    evil doesn’t live with you.
Arrogant people won’t last long
in your sight;
    you hate all evildoers;
    you destroy liars.
    The Lord despises people who are violent and dishonest.

But me? I will enter your house
    because of your abundant, faithful love;
    I will bow down at your holy temple,
        honoring you.
Lord, because of many enemies,
    please lead me in your righteousness.
    Make your way clear,
        right in front of me.
Because there’s no truth in my enemies’ mouths,
    all they have inside them is destruction.
    Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues slick with talk.
10 Condemn them, God!
    Let them fail by their own plans.
Throw them out for their many sins
    because they’ve rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you celebrate.
    Let them sing out loud forever!
Protect them
    so that all who love your name
    can rejoice in you.
12 Because you, Lord, bless the righteous.
    You cover them with favor like a shield (Psalm 5:1-12, Common English Bible)

Feeling isolated is not something uncommon. I think at times we all feel that way. The psalmist felt that way too, a lot. The psalms contain five different types of psalms. There are wisdom psalms, enthronement (that is the term I learned in seminary but have since learned, some call them royal psalms) psalms, praise psalms, psalms of thanksgiving, and psalms of lament. Psalms of lament are by far the most common.

Consider the opening verses of today’s psalm, “Hear my words, Lord! Consider my groans! Pay attention to the sound of my cries, my king and my God, because I am praying to you (Psalm 5:1-2)!

In today’s reading, the psalmist wastes no time getting to what is at the forefront of his mind. It seems to me, with the very first words of this psalm, “Hear my words, Lord!” the psalmist has at least some fear that God is not going to listen.

Where the psalmist has no fear is understanding that God has great love, faithful love for all God’s people. It is because of that love that the psalmist is convinced beyond all question, all doubt, that he will enter into God’s house. He knows he will bow down before God in God’s holy temple. He seeks to honor God.

When the psalmist speaks of those who are enemies, they are those who don’t seek after God. They are those who are arrogant, evil, and rebellious to name only a few. They are those he is sure will not be entering God’s house because, the Lord, “…despises people who are violent and dishonest.”

But for those who seek God, there will be celebration. As I read it, for those who enter God’s house, there will be celebration.

Evangelism writer, Tony Campolo wrote a book back in the early 1990s. The book was OK but I have loved the title since the first time I saw it. The Kingdom of God is a Party. I can’t help but think that the psalmist, upon entering God’s house would see that celebration in exactly the same way as Tony Campolo.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


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