Psalm 5:7–8

Having reviewed the attributes of God, focusing on His sovereignty and goodness, David examines himself (vv. 7–8).

But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house,
At Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.
O LORD, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.

Verse 7 begins with a strong contrast. The Hebrew is exceptionally strong, literally: "But for me!" In contrast to those whom the Lord would destroy (v. 6), David enjoyed a spiritual position, which is mentioned in the latter part of verse 7 as "Your holy temple," a poetic reference to intimate fellowship with the Lord.

Verse 8 is the major prayer of this song. Everything before this verse could be considered preliminary. Here is the kernel of his request: "Lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes; make Your way straight before me."

What does this mean? David didn't want to resort to the tactics of his enemies, so he prayed that the Lord would lead him throughout the conflict, causing him to do things God's way. He wanted to follow God's righteous way, first and foremost. Not too many years later, the princely prophet, Isaiah, spoke to Israel on behalf of God:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8–9)

When discouraged, we naturally pray for relief...we beg the Lord to act on our behalf. What if, instead, we asked for the opportunity to do something for Him? How might our perspective change if we began to see ourselves as agents of God's will, acting on His behalf and carrying out His desires, rather than always expecting Him to serve us?


Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved. Used by permission.