Praise that Pleads
Lord, on this Your day, I come for rest and refreshment in You. Lift my burden of cares, ambitions, and fears.
Read Psalm 5:1-12
 For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“There is a distinct manifestation of God’s rule which enters the environment of praise. Here is a remedy for times when you feel alone, deserted, or depressed: praise” (Jack Hayford).
The setting of the psalm is not clear, but it could easily have been used as a night vigil or to accompany the morning prayers and sacrifices in the temple. It blends both the assurance of faith and the plea of the sufferer in a beautiful alternating structure of praise and prayer. The psalm reflects both confidence in God and the reality of the problems faced. The enemies (8-11) could be the psalmist’s inner thoughts, personal opponents, or even David’s political and national foes. The writer’s honest and heartfelt cry is for them to get what they deserve. For modern readers with sensitive dispositions, this does not seem right. Didn’t Jesus command us to love our enemies? Didn’t he forgive them?
The psalmist does not hide his deepest feelings. His call for judgment comes from the pain he feels, of rejection and plotting against him. He offers this to God in prayer, and knows that God is available to hear him, loving enough to understand him, and just and powerful enough to do what is right. If we really believe God is in control, we can trust him to deal with our enemies and all that is wrong and evil in the world.
Confidence in God comes in the times of trial as much as in the times of peace. The test of faith is not when we face no stress, pressure or trial, but when we live in the midst of them. That is why our morning sacrifice of prayer, praise, confidence and trust is even more necessary. To live our lives in the service of God and his people, we need to be tested by circumstances, people, and our own personal struggles. How will you combine the challenges you face today with an attitude of trust and praise?
List your reasons to praise God, the qualities of God that give you confidence in his love, and your own personal needs for God’s help.
Father, what confidence I feel when I remember that You inhabit the praises of Your people! Amidst the struggles of my life, fill me anew with Your joy and peace.