Psalm 5: Relying on God
Feeling betrayed, persecuted or fearful are common human experiences. Christians are not immune from such emotions. Indeed, because of the opposition of the fallen world to Christ, we will inevitably face them. How do we pray in these circumstances? Instead of allowing our fear or anger to dominate our thinking, we need to focus on God. Psalm 5 is one example of a prayer written in the face of opposition.
Warming Up to God
What happens to your relationship with God (especially your prayer life) when you find yourself facing opposition or persecution?
Discovering the Word
- List the characteristics of the wicked and the righteous from David's descriptions in the passage.
- When we are opposed or persecuted by others, it is easy to want to take revenge or become aggressive toward them. What is David's strategy for dealing with opposition?
- David appears confident of God hearing his prayer and shielding him. What grounds are there in the passage for such confidence?
- What does the passage show us about David's relationship with God?
- David is clearly accustomed to beginning his day with prayer (v. 3). What are the benefits of this model?
Applying the Word
- The psalm gives us a clear picture of how God opposes the wicked and deals with them. How does this help in coping with opposition or persecution on a day-to-day basis?
- Both Christians and non-Christians often blame God for the pain, suffering or persecution that they encounter. How does Psalm 5 help us to understand the pain, suffering and persecution from God's perspective?
- What aspects of David's prayer in this passage are a helpful model for you?
Responding in Prayer
Think of any situations that represent a threat or pressure for you. Spend some time praying about those situations, trying to focus particularly on God's power and supremacy over the situation (while being realistic about the difficulties!).