The Word Made Fresh
(To the worship leader: accompanied with flutes. A psalm of David.)
1Listen to my words, LORD.
Can you hear my sighing?
2Listen to my cry, LORD.
I’m praying to you because you are my king and my sovereign.
3You hear my voice every morning, LORD.
Every morning I lay my situation before you and wait for you.
4You are not the kind of God who likes to see evil things.
Such actions do not sit right with you.
5You won’t allow braggarts to petition you.
You hate people who practice evil ways.
6You will do away with liars.
You hate people who are bloodthirsty and full of lies.
7But because of your great and steadfast love I will enter your house.
I will bow in awe before your holy temple.
8Guide me, LORD, in your right ways.
I have enemies, but you can show me the right path to take.
9There is no truth in the things they say.
Their hearts are bent on destruction.
Their throats are like open graves,
and they are full of flattery.
10Make them suffer the consequences of their guilt, God!
Judge them by their own intrigues
and let their own words convict them.
They have rebelled against you!
11But let those who seek safety in you be glad.
Let them sing for joy continually.
Throw your blanket of protection over them
and those who love your very name will rejoice in you.
12For you always reward the righteous, LORD.
You always protect them; your favor is their shield.
Superscription: this is the 3rd psalm to be ascribed to David. The instructions indicate that it is to be accompanied by wind instruments, or flutes, whereas Psalm 4 was to be accompanied by stringed instruments. To me this is an indication that the psalm is intended to be used by the community in worship together.
1-3: The psalm is cast as a morning prayer. We begin the day kneeling beside the bed and placing our petition before God. Then we go about our business, watching to see how God responds.
4-6: We are assured that God will not lead us astray because God does not “like to see evil things,” and therefore God will not allow evil to overcome good.
7-8: Because God’s love for us is steadfast we will never be turned away from God’s house. And because there are those who would do us harm, we ask for God to guide us in the right path.
9-10: Let those who are deceitful and destructive suffer the consequences of their own actions.
11-12: But let those who trust in God live in the joy of knowing that they live under God’s protection.
Many of us as children learned a night-time prayer. Mine was “Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray thee, Lord, my soul to keep”. Morning prayer is an important aspect of our faith as well. Begin each day by taking a few minutes to touch base with God. That puts the beginning of the day in the right hands.