1 Give ear to my words, O LORD;
consider my groaning.
2 Give attention to the sound of my cry,
my King and my God,
for to you do I pray.
3 O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ps 5:1–3). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
3 With the dawning of each new day, prayer is renewed, with the hope that the Lord will soon respond. The “morning” is symbolic of a renewal of God’s acts of love (cf. La 3:23). The change from darkness to light brings with it the association of renewed hope. In the early morning hours (cf. 55:17; 88:13; 92:2) the psalmist sought the Lord (his covenantal God) in prayer because he knew that Yahweh would not forsake him. It is to this end that he presented God with his “requests” (or “offerings”; see Notes). During the day he waited “in expectation” to see what the Lord would do for him.
5:1–3 / In the language common to the individual prayer psalm, this one begins with petitions for Yahweh to give ear to the speaker’s cry for help. Perhaps in response to the performance of an entry liturgy such as Psalm 24, the opening address is particularly mindful of my God (an address frequent in individual laments) as my King (only here among the individual laments, though note 84:3). Morning, perhaps because of the appearance of first light, symbolized salvation, newness, and hope (30:5; 46:5; 90:14; 130:6) and was thus considered the most opportune time for God to hear the petitioner’s voice. The confession, I … wait, shows that worshipers cannot presume on God’s favorable hearing (cf. 130:5; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 2:1). No ritual conveys the notions of respect for and dependence on God more strongly than that of waiting.
Affirming Submission to God (5:1–3)
5:1–3. David began by imploring God to give ear (i.e., “to attend carefully to someone or something” with the intent of responding for the petitioner’s benefit) to his words, and to consider his meditation (not groaning, as in the NASB). He followed this with reference to God as his King, underscoring that God is the true king of Israel, whereas David, like his son Solomon and all the human kings after him who “sat on the throne of the Lord” (1Ch 29:23; see also 28:5) were only custodians of God’s kingship. This opening sentiment is paralleled by the opening affirmation of God’s kingship in Jesus’ own model of prayer (Mt 6:9–10).
1–3 Confidence in the Lord who hears prayer. Prayer (a) is putting the problem (sighing) into words (1) (b) carries with it a guarantee of being heard. Note the sequence (2) Listen … for (because) … I pray. (c) comes first in the day: morning by morning (v 3ab) is simply ‘in the morning’. The thought is not so much regularity (cf. Is. 50:4), as priority in the day (d) is watchful for an answer (3c).
Morning prayer (5:1–3)
5:1–3. The psalmist pleaded with God to hear (Give ear.… Listen) his lament as he prayed morning by morning (lit., “in the morning”) with full expectation. “In the morning” is repeated in verse 3 for emphasis. It stresses that his first thoughts each day were prayer.
5:3 David’s prayers were not spasmodic but regular. Every morning the Lord heard his voice. Every morning the man of God prepared a sacrifice of praise and prayer and watched for the Lord to reveal Himself during the day. Too often we do not watch for God’s responses. “We miss many answers,” said F. B. Meyer,” because we get tired of waiting on the docks for the returning ships.”
5:1–3 Give ear: As in 4:1, this is the language of a person who believes from experience that God has forgotten his plight. The sufferer calls on the Lord to listen, even though the Lord has been continually listening and caring. Meditation here refers to incessant groaning. My King: The psalmists often address God in heaven as King, the ruler over all. At times, the psalms focus on prayer in the morning (88:13)—a commendable habit that helps a person to dedicate all the activities of the day to the glory of God.
5:3 In the morning … In the morning. These words have led many to label this a morning psalm (cf. Ps 3:5).
5:3 I prepare a sacrifice for you is difficult in the Hebrew, which could also be rendered as in the ESV footnote, “I direct my prayer to you.” The mention of the morning here, and the Lord’s house in v. 7, favors “sacrifice”; the idea here is that the prayer comes in the context of a faithful worshiper who receives assurance and expresses personal consecration by way of these ordinances; it is small wonder that such a person will watch, looking around and ahead in expectant faith.
5:3 and I will watch The psalmist expectantly waits for Yahweh’s response (Mic 7:7; Hab 2:1).
5:3 This psalm is sometimes called a “morning psalm” and underscores the importance of a daily devotional time. Much depends upon how we start each day, and what better way to begin the day than with a personal time of meditation. An intimate fellowship demands communication. The breakdown of communication presupposes disruption in fellowship (cf. Gen. 3:8). Therefore, to enjoy fellowship with the Creator, one must make time to communicate with Him. God speaks to man through His Word (103–105; 119:9–16); man talks to God through prayer andthen listens for the divine response (cf. 1 Sam. 3:3–15; Matt. 7:7, 8). One cannot live a Spirit-filled life without daily direction and sustenance from God (cf. Prov. 3:6; John 6:33–35).
5:3 In the morning is repeated and indicates the time of the prayer (88:13). Plead my case is literally “prepare” or “set in order.” While it could mean preparing a sacrifice, there is no other indication that a sacrifice was being offered. Instead, it was more likely preparing words (Jb 32:14) in a request for vindication.
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