The Woes of an Israelite Soldier (Psalm 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).

It seems like everyone is out to get me. I don’t know what I did wrong. I just know, I have people who try to kill me when I go with the army out into the field. I’m pretty sure it is nothing personal. None of the enemy even knows me. They are angry with us. They are not angry with me alone. Except that our kings do not get along, we might even be friends. But out there, I try to kill him as he attempts to do the same to me.

I accept that. When we take to the battlefield someone is most likely going to die. While I do not want it to be me, the truth is I could easily die. Any of us on the battlefield could die, a death that is quick and relatively painless, or something slow that is much worse.

I am accepting of my situation on the battlefield. You would think that when I returned home and was safely behind the gates and walls of the city that I would be safe. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I have come home from battle and found some of those to afraid to find those who stayed home trying to rob me of my property. It could be land. It could be some of my very small amount of gold. It could be my animals. One time it was my wife and another time my son. In the end, we would end up standing before King David and the King always took care of his soldiers. I always got back what was taken and most of the time there was more.

After they have returned what they took and the more that the King gave to me, they were always pretty angry. They vow revenge. They vow to take me and my family out of the picture.

So, do I have enemies, enemies even here at home? You bet I do. I have enemies who are those serving the king who is an enemy of my king. Much of the time I don’t even know what we are fighting about. Still, I am a good soldier. I don’t need to know the why, my king says I should go fight, I go fight.

What I am always most bothered with is coming home and dealing with enemies at home.

All I want is safety for me and my family. Imagine how I felt when I read this psalm, Psalm 5 and I saw King David faces some of the same kind of enemies.

I don’t worry too much about my own mortality at home. It could happen but I just don’t think about it in the field. When I come home it is another matter. Out in the field we fight in a huge desert. With domestic enemies, fight is not what will happen in the end. When I talked with the King over lunch after just a few returning home. I told him of my problem.

That is when the king introduced me to the world of the psalms. I have read them many times now. And, I know, God watches over me. Since I know that, I am blessed.

Most of us have enemies on some level. In the end, I believe the psalmist is saying, trust in yourself or trust in God.

Have a great day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


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