The proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil (Psalm 5:5, NLT).
Have you ever been mad at someone? Not common everyday anger, but constantly thinking evil thoughts about the person?
Has someone done something to you that put you into a wasteland of bitterness? You consider, “If that person hadn’t done , I would have money… or a great marriage… or a job?”
If you have suffered major loss because of the actions, attitudes, or words of another – then Psalm 5 is for you.
Let’s begin with verse one…
O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.
When someone offends me, this is the first thing that I need to remember – that God loves me and is listening. God has not abandoned me. He will not sit idly while wickedness prevails. If my first reaction after offense is prayer, then I see God and His perspective. I can respond with righteousness and not further inflame the situation by lashing out.
Yes, the first step after offense is to ask God for help. Don’t, please don’t, respond with self-justified revenge.
Hear my cry for help, my King, and my God, for to you I pray (v. 2).
Have you noticed when you are angry with someone, that you can’t get the person out of you mind – unforgiveness causes more damage than the actual violation? You step on the treadmill of bitterness and can’t get off.
Instead of thinking about the offenses and the offender, the Psalmist teaches…
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly (v. 3).
In the morning, cast your anger upon the Lord. Visually lift your adversary in prayer and ask the Lord to justify your case, while allowing your thoughts to turn from anger to peace.
Don’t believe lies. If God hasn’t vindicated you, it’s not because He’s absent or wants you to suffer.
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked. Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence, for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers (vv. 4-6).
Psalm 5 describes the fate of those who persist in ungodliness. But consider – do you really want your oppressor destroyed? The Lord is patient toward evil, wanting all to repent. Their actions toward you allow God to listen to your prayers concerning their future.
Pray for those who offend you by saying, “Lord, it isn’t about me. Allow me to forgive. Bring this person into your loving care through their repentance. But Lord, in mercy, don’t allow their evil to continue. If I need to make a strong stand, let it be in love and not anger.”
Psalm 5 further describes the Lord’s victory…
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps (vv. 9-10).
Verse 8 states in the New Living Translation, “Lead me in the right path, O Lord…”
The English Standard Version translates verse 8 as, “O Lord, lead me in your righteousness…”
Righteousness is living in a manner acceptable to God. When you are offended there is a path of response that God reveals to you. Don’t respond in a manner consistent with your upbringing or past – but by walking in God’s will.
Following Psalm 5 after you have been offended will result in…
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love (vv. 11-12, NLT).
I want to live surrounded by the shield of God’s love! I believe you do too.