“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.”
– Psalm 5:1-6 KJV
I love that David doesn’t hold back in his psalms, don’t you? His verses are raw from the heart of a fellow human facing trials and trying to thrive under God’s provision just like us. He shares his inner turmoil, releasing it through his songs; an excellent example to someone like me who needs to learn to praise more through any situation! [I should warn that these first six verses speak of how the wicked are, it won’t be till the last six verses that we hear how David responds.]
His songs don’t start like a prayer, but they reflect a prayer. He asks God to listen, which is also what we seek in prayer. But let’s look further how his song unfolds. How often do you find yourself telling God to ‘Give ear to my words’? Does that sound like such a bold thing to ask? Maybe in modern terms, David is saying ‘Listen to me!’ Then it does sound bold! He is hearkening to God, not in a way that is demanding though, as we may perceive it. We can imaging he has humbled himself in his distress, in the sorrows he has from the wicked of the world, he is coming to God in a position of begging. And he continues his song with ‘consider my meditation.’ The word ‘consider’ is certainly not a demand, but an invitation. He is preparing to talk to God so he invites Him in. He wants God to hear the things that are going on, his deepest desire is to share with his God exactly how these wicked people are hurting him. God already knows, yes, because He sees everything and He is omnipotent. But there is no one else that David wants to talk to at this time other then God. Yĕhovah. The Existing One. The only one who can guide David in what he is experiencing.
His second verse is similar, but he ends it with such a basic statement- ‘for unto thee I will pray.’ David prayed to God. Here’s what it doesn’t say though, because we need to remember this deep connection between David and God- it doesn’t say ‘for unto thee I will deliver my checklist of what I need today’ or ‘for unto thee will I list off all anyone has done wrong against me’ or even ‘for unto thee will I list off all my complaints’. David is going to enter into a deep time of being focused on God and experiencing His presence. Maybe this sounds strange to some of us- sitting quietly, just focused on God. Not reading a book, drawing a picture, or playing a game. David spends his free time with God alone. In this day, it seems like a really tall order! Some would just like to have quiet time to focus on reading 5 verses and do a devotional for 5 minutes! But David says, ‘God, you will hear my voice in the morning! As soon as I awake, I will begin talking to You, making time for You, praising Your name!’ He wanted this to set the entire tone for his day.
His desire to spend time with God like this reminds me of a music piece that I feel should be listened to more- the title is 4’33” [click the title to watch the video]. Imagine with me that you have purchased tickets to watch this famous composer perform his newest piece and the hall is entirely filled for the concert! You arrive, sit down, people are talking, then the lights dim and someone comes to introduce this man- John Cage. Anticipation builds and he comes to the stage, people clap! He sits down, gets ready, and then….silence. You wait, thinking maybe this is how concerts begin or it is some strange ritual of his…but at least a minute passes and still no sound. Needless to say, people were really upset with this man. They paid to be locked into a concert hall where they expected to hear music, but what did they really get? In that silence, all those people were forced to confront themselves. They had to spend time in their own heads, and they were outraged! But Cage took the silence seriously, and so did David.
David begins his meditation by considering how righteous God is and how wicked the wicked are, because they are not pleasing to Him. I think this also speaks to how David revered and feared him, because he takes time to study what God doesn’t like and compares it to God’s character-not himself! Because his desire is to be more like his Creator. God is not evil and He does not like evil. David goes as far as to list off some evil- ‘the foolish’ who are unwise, and make bad decisions with what they have; ‘workers of iniquity’ who seek to bring evil wherever they go; and ‘those that speak leasing’ who are the ones that weave a web of lies all their life. These are the ones the Lord despises.
It’s clear as David drew closer to God, he made many contrasts between the Holy characteristics of the God he loved and the wicked ways of the people who persecuted him. I’m so glad David shares his process! So be challenged this week- sit in silence and just draw near to God, reflect on Him. I once asked my art class to spend the first minute of class just in silence to see how long they could go- keep in mind I work with K-5th graders! We made it 43″ before one of the younger ones spoke up and said, ‘This is stupid. When are we going to draw?’ They almost made it, but it really is a challenge! And if a bunch of little kids can make it almost a minute, surely you can find 5 to just meditate on God. Unguided, just purely you and God.
Be blessed my friends! Hopefully I will get a bonus post out tomorrow!