The fifth psalm brings with it some familiar themes from the preceding four: God not answering prayer, lament, crying out to God, and struggle against bloodthirsty adversaries. Whenever Scripture repeats itself, this is a flashing red light to take notice, God is trying to make sure we really understand something. It’s ironic then, how these themes have been lost or minimized in much of modern day Western Christianity. We seem to have crafted a religion around comfort and God making you feel good. Like we are selling a product and we need to convince those in the pew that it works. In order to do so, we have to hide these more uncomfortable truths and only emphasize the happy ones.
Verse 1 implies that God has not been answering the psalmist’s prayer. I love the honesty we can go to God with. The psalmist is basically saying, “Hey God! Answer me! I know you can! But you haven’t been! I am suffering! I am struggling! Have mercy on me! Hear my prayer!” With full use of exclamation points in the emotion behind this prayer.
Psalm 3 is one of David’s prayers while fleeing for his life from his beloved son, after seeing his family fall into complete ruin. We find raw, honest emotion in this Psalm.
We often forget when we read the Psalms that these were written in a real time and a real place. That real time and real place was God’s Old Testament people of Israel that he had made a covenant with (which you can read more about here). They were an earthly nation chosen by God to shine his light to the rest of the world. Within this relationship, an agreement was made (the Mosaic Covenant or “old covenant”) where Israel was to obey God’s commands and if they did, their nation would prosper. But if they worshiped other gods (which they did often!), they would be under God’s judgment and the nation would falter. Most of the years of Israel that the Old Testament spans is of the faltering variety, not the prospering variety. In fact, with the exception of a very brief window of time (David and Solomon’s reign), Israel got its rear end repeatedly kicked by the neighboring nations and the regional superpowers. It’s important to keep this context in mind when we read the Psalms, especially one like Psalm 2.
It’s a new year and a perfect time to start spending time in Scripture each day. I’m going to post a short devotional on the Psalms every day until we run out of Psalms. You can use the subscribe options at the bottom of this post to if you’d like to receive these devotionals in your email inbox, or you can subscribe to receive all blog categories. If you’re already subscribed to my blog posts, you will not receive these daily devotionals in your inbox unless you subscribe separately to the “Daily Devotions” category below.