Give ear to my words, O Lord,
Consider my meditation.
Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.
These verses are for me a pattern. I have for many years used the early morning as a time devoted first to God, although frequently not as wholeheartedly as I ought. These verse tell me What, and When, to Whom, and even Why!
· What - Prayer. We read of words of meditation or groaning. Have you ever noticed the groaning we sometimes feel deep within? Dig deep my friend, pour out your soul to the Lord. This is what we are to do.
· When - in the morning. Not that we shouldn't pray at other times, but here we read that David chose to speak to the Almighty in the morning. Our Lord also did this frequently (Mark 1:35).
· To Whom - plainly God above. But take note of the phrase, "My King and my God" He is more than God to us, as King we our our allegiance.
· Why - "my voice You shall hear in the morning." While we may pray anytime, we have here and explicit permit and promise that He hears our morning groaning’s.
For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The Lord abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
These verses contrast the true and living God with the evil workers of iniquity. God's holiness is demonstrated in stark relief against such an evil back drop of sin.
But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.
This is the beautiful resolve of the righteous. It is because of our faithful trust in the mercy of the Lord we come to worship.
· Because He is faithful we can be.
· Because He is holy we can be.
· Because His name is on our lips and before the world - for His namesake, we are made holy through the sanctifying worship of holy living.
Oh Lord! Make your way straight before me!
9-10For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.
Here we see the imprecatory part. Evil is bad and we ought to be glad when it is dealt with properly. We ought not gloat or glory in an evil doer getting his due, but instead consider that the name of the Lord is at stake and God must be vindicated.
· They are not faithful
· Even their deepest part is destruction.
· Their very throat is an open grave, demonstrating that they are dead.
· They are liars.
Verse 10 is very telling. Lest anyone cast a claim that God is unfair or unkind - It is their own counsel which brings them down! It is not God's lack of concern for them which fails them - It is their own sin which gets them! (Read for comparison Eze. 18:33, & 33:11)
11-12But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
Here is a last stanza for those trusting in God. And that is the point. We never read of the righteous trusting God because of their righteousness, but because of God's mercy, God's holiness, and God's holy namesake.
· He is our defender. Our joy is found in Him because we also bear His name!
· He is our shield from the very darts and attacks of the wicked.
· He blesses the righteous not for any personal righteousness they have, but because their righteousness is entirely and wholly derived from Him.
Someone once said, "He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him if He will have him"Indeed. And we must do the same - trusting Him.
Let me close with my wife’s favorite verses, Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.