Psalm 5


This psalm shows David coming to the Lord in the morning where he receives the strength and joy he needs to make it through the day against many enemies. This psalm is also called a ‘Morning Prayer’ because of what he writes in Psalm 5:3.

Although we don’t know the circumstances around which David wrote this psalm, there’s nothing better than to start your day in prayer, especially if we’re being threatened someway by our enemies.


‘For the director of music. For pipes. A psalm of David’.

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

This psalm was for the director of music and was to be sung with the use of pipes. Some commentators believe that the ‘director of music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

‘Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament. Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.’ Psalm 5:1-3

David knew that God reigned over all things as king in heaven, and so, he expressed his desire that his prayers be heard.

Notice the four things we learn from David’s prayer.

1. David used words and sentences to pray.

David says ‘listen to my words’, although there are times when we lament in silence, but our prayers need to be prayed using words and sentences, Psalm 51:7 / Psalm 51:10-12.

2. David’s prayer was personal.

David uses the words, ‘my words’, ‘my lament’, ‘my cry’, ‘my voice’, ‘my King’, ‘my God’, and ‘my requests’. This is a very personal prayer and when we pray we too should make it very personal, Matthew 6:9-13.

3. David was expecting his prayer to be answered.

David was ‘waiting expectantly’, in other words, he was waiting on God to answer his prayer. It’s one thing praying to God but it’s another thing expecting Him to answer, Matthew 21:22 / James 1:6.

4. David prayed regularly.

David prayed ‘in the morning’, which gives us the idea that he prayed every morning. Prayer was part of his morning routine, Daniel 6:10-28.

David teaches us what we should do every morning, before we start our busy schedule for the day, we should pray to God and after we’ve prayed and go about our busy day, we should expect God to answer our prayer.

‘For you are not a God who is pleased with wickedness; with you, evil people are not welcome. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence. You hate all who do wrong; you destroy those who tell lies. The bloodthirsty and deceitful you, LORD, detest. But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.’ Psalm 5:4-7

As we saw in the first few verses, David’s prayer was very personal and that’s because our relationship with God is very personal. The more time we spend in prayer to God and studying His Word, the closer we draw to Him, the more we get to know Him, what He loves and what He hates.

Here David tells us that because God can’t tolerate the way of the wicked, He will turn from them. The reason God turns away from them is simply because they have no desire for God’s presence in their lives. As a result of their wickedness, they will be destroyed because they have turned away from God.

Those who do wrong and tell lies, those who are bloodthirsty and deceitful have no place in the presence of God, God hates their sinfulness, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 / Galatians 5:19-21 / Ephesians 5:3-5 / Revelation 22:15.

It’s very clear from these passages that God’s wickedness, although we must stress that God hates the sin they are involved in and not the sinner, John 8:10-11 / Jude 1:22–23 / Revelation 2:6.

David contrasts himself with the wicked, not arrogantly because he says he can be in the presence of God only because of God’s ‘great love’. Make no mistake about it, David never took God for granted, he knew he was very privileged to worship God.

We must note that the word ‘temple’ used here, can also be translated as the word ‘tabernacle’, 1 Samuel 1:9 / 1 Samuel 3:3, which would make a lot more sense because as we know the temple hadn’t been built yet, 1 Kings 5-7.

Wherever David was he would bow down in worship toward the tabernacle of God, Daniel 6:10. In bowing down David was demonstrating humility and in facing the tabernacle, he was presenting himself in what represented God.

‘Lead me, LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies—make your way straight before me. Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with malice. Their throat is an open grave; with their tongues they tell lies. Declare them guilty, O God! Let their intrigues be their downfall. Banish them for their many sins, for they have rebelled against you.’ Psalm 5:8-10

David desires to be led in the right ways of God, this shows us how much he had come to depend upon God in all areas of his life. He’s fully aware that it’s only God who could help stay away from the ways of the wicked.

In contrast to what David desired to be, the wicked came forward with an odour of death, Numbers 19:11 / Romans 3:13. David focuses on what the wicked say as evidence of their wickedness, their speech was filled with deceit, Matthew 12:34.

What we have recorded here in this psalm is the first time where we find David calling upon God to judge the wicked, Luke 19:27 / Revelation 6:10.

All too often it’s the wicked who fall into the trap of their own deception, 2 Timothy 3:13. While they devise schemes for their own benefit, they fall victim to their own devices.

‘But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favour as with a shield.’ Psalm 5:11-12

David tells us that it’s the righteous who recognise that God is working in their lives and are the ones who will be glad. Even when the righteous fall upon hard times, they can still rejoice in knowing that God is still their refuge, James 1:2-3.

The joy the righteous experience is for everyone who ‘loves the Name’ of the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly, Numbers 32:12 / Psalm 119:80 / Ephesians 6:7.

David has no doubts that God will bless the righteous, he has no doubts that God will surround them with His favour, 1 Samuel 23:26, acting as a shield. Oh, how blessed we are to be looked upon with God’s favour, His grace truly is amazing, John 1:16 / Ephesians 2:8-9.


David started every day with a prayer, and we know that he prayed at other times too but in the New Testament Paul tells us to pray continually, 1 Thessalonians 5:17. When we have our own private prayer time, how personal do we make it?

When we pray to God, He already knows what we’re going to say, Psalm 139:4 / Matthew 6:8, God is our Father, and He longs to hear from us, but we don’t pray to Him for His benefit but for our benefit.

When we pray, we’re reminded of not only who He is but also that we can’t live without Him or do anything without Him and His guidance, protection and grace.

David recognised just how blessed he was to be able to be in the presence of God to worship Him. Worship, for some, has become a time of entertainment, it’s all about what they can get out of it, Matthew 15:8-9. Our worship should be directed at God, not people, Deuteronomy 12:8.

We get so used to worshipping God, that we very often take our worshipping of God for granted, Hebrews 10:25, but it’s only because of God’s favour that we are privileged to come together to worship Him and pray to Him, Hebrews 4:16.

Go To Psalm 6


"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."