Refuge in Yahweh
(7) But I, because of the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down in reverent fear before your holy sanctuary. (8) Yahweh, lead me in your righteousness because of my enemies. Make straight your way before my face, (9) for nothing from their mouth is trustworthy. Their inner being is destruction. Their throat is an open grave. With their tongue they flatter. (10) Declare them guilty, O God. Let them fall by their intrigues. Banish them for their many transgressions, for they have rebelled against you, (11) but let all who take refuge in you rejoice. Let them ever sing for joy. Shelter them that they may exult in you, those who love your name, (12) for you, Yahweh, certainly bless the righteous. You surround them with your favor as with a shield.
Just as we divided the first six verses of the psalm into two stanzas of three verses each, so we can do the same for these last six verses. However, they follow a different pattern than the first six. In the first half, David cries out to Yahweh, a righteous, prayer-hearing, praying-answering God (vss. 1-6).
In the second half (vss. 7-12), David worships and seeks the guidance of Yahweh (vss. 7 & 8) because of the dangers he faces from evil men (vs. 9). David then details for us his specific requests (vss. 10-12). He first asks God to deal with the wicked: “declare them guilty,” “let them fall,” and “banish them” (vs. 10). He then prays that all who take refuge in God might experience his full protection and blessing (vss. 11 & 12).
I. David personally seeks God. (7-9)
II. David sets forth his requests to God. (10-12)
The wickedness of evil men should cause us to draw closer to God in worship, dependence, and in seeking his intervention.
Great poems have a wonderful way of expressing their message in a few, precise words with huge impact. Such is the case with a poem by Maltbie Babcock, written over 100 years ago. The first stanza captures the essence of Psalm 5:7-12. “This is my Father’s world. / O let me ne’er forget / that though the wrong seems oft so strong, / God is the ruler yet.”
Even to a powerful warrior like David, the wrong often seemed so strong that he felt almost overwhelmed by it. His only recourse was to spend time in God’s presence in close communion with his creator and redeemer. There, in the sanctuary, he could focus on the greatness of God in the face of this world’s evil. There he could call out in believing prayer for God to deal with that evil and to protect and bless the righteous. All of us, like David, experience moments when the evil surrounding us seems more than any of us can handle. That is precisely when we need a renewed vision of the greatness of God and his powerful protection for those whom he loves.