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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 5

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-12


Confidence in God, based on the knowledge of His righteous government, and immutable character.

An appeal to God, based on God's righteous government, and immutable character, to execute judgment upon the wicked, that the godly may enter upon their blessing.

(vv. 1-3) The psalm opens with an expression of the soul's daily dependence upon God. “In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and look up.” The appeal to God as “my King” involves the government of God, even as “my God” suggests the character of God.

(vv. 4-10) In the prayer that follows there passes before the soul the character of God (4-6); and need of the godly (7-8); and the evil of the ungodly (9-10).

The psalmist thinks first of God, for his prayer is based on the fact that the righteous character of God makes it impossible for God to pass over sin, and the government of God demands that God should judge the wicked. God's character is such that He cannot take pleasure in wickedness, or allow evil to exist in His presence: hence in God's government the man that does evil must come under judgment, and the abhorrence of God (4-6).

As for the godly man, the psalmist recognizes that he can only enter into God's house - the presence of God - on the ground of mercy. Nevertheless, in the presence of his enemies, he looks to God to lead him in righteousness, and that God's way may be made plain before his face (7-8).

The ungodly are marked by corruption before men and rebellion toward God. Flattery is on their tongues; rebellion is in their hearts. The godly man looks to God to execute judgment upon them (9-10).

(vv. 11-12) The judgment of the wicked will be followed by the blessing of those who trust in God. In the meantime the favour of the Lord is a shield for the godly.

The psalm clearly indicates the distinct character of the earthly blessing of the godly Jew, in contrast to the heavenly blessings of the Christian. The Jew, having his portion on the earth, “looks for the removal of the violent and deceitful man, in order for his own comfort and rest. Not so the Christian. He leaves the violent man here and goes to heaven” (JND). This accounts for the prayer for judgment upon enemies found in this psalm, and many others. The Christian is to pray for his enemies. The psalm, therefore, does not present Christian experience, though the righteous character of God, and the principles of His government, set forth in the psalm ever remain true.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 5". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-5.html. 1832.
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