By: Scott Morton
<To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David.>
Just like the previous psalm, this one is also written by David. He is credited with writing 73 of the psalms, which apparently made him a very prolific writer of music. David understood the importance of music related to the worshipping of God. He is also described as being skillful in playing music. When he goes to join the court of King Saul, they were searching for an individual to come play the harp in the court and he is chosen based on his ability (1 Samuel 16:16-22). The fact that these psalms are written by David also shows where his heart is, as he is doing things to bring glory to God. This can be seen by looking at what is written in one of other psalms:
O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.  Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.  Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
The issue is that they are instructed to sing as part of their worship of God. There are many verses, especially in the psalms, where this is given to the nation of Israel as instructions on how they were to function. It can also be seen in looking at the angelic realm that they did things to honor God through song. Satan is described as having a built in orchestra (Ezekiel 28: 12-15). The role Satan had originally was to lead the creation in the worship of God. This is why the tabrets (drums) and pipes (i.e., a flute or pipe organ) are part of Satan. This would be music that was part of him that would be used in leading this worship. We also see from Job 38:4-7 that the angelic realm sang during the creation, which is a demonstration of this worship.
The chief musician (in the time of David this was Asaph) was to lead the nation of Israel in song as part of their worship. There are 55 psalms written to the chief musician, indicating this was an integral part of their worship. God has always been pleased with songs as part of worship.
The word nehiloth can be confusing, as this is not an English word. This word has had a couple of different meaning given to it by the translators and Bible students. Scofield, in his Bible dictionary, states this means inheritance and is referring to the character of the psalm. In the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, the statement is this referring to the fact that this psalm needs to be played using flutes. This is also consistent with the translation of the word by Strong:
Probably denominative from H2485; a flute: - [plural] Nehiloth.
Therefore, the psalm is going to be played on a particular set of instruments, just like the previous psalm. This psalm is to be played on instruments such as a flute, according to the psalmist.
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.  Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.
This verse refers to the prayers of the believer. The members of the nation of Israel communicated with God through their prayer life (in the same manner that members of the Body of Christ do today). There were few instances where God communicated directly with individuals, as usually this was only done in the case of the prophets.
The three words of meditation, cry, and pray are all speaking of this same communication with God. This kind of statement is used by David in several different passages:
Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.
Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
Bow down thine ear, O LORD, hear me: for I am poor and needy.
These five verse indicate what David felt was going to happen. He knew God was going to hear the prayers he was offering up. This was not because he was the king and that God was only going to listen to him. David knew this was something that happens for all those that are believers. This can be seen from the writings of Peter:
1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Peter writes that the prayers of the righteous are the ones that are heard. This would have been those who were following the prophetic program for the nation of Israel (or following the grace of God today). God is going to listen to the prayers of those who are following the program that he has laid out. This is one of the things that people struggle with, as they do not understand at times why God is not listening to their prayers. If they are not a believer in the program God is dealing with man, He will not listen to their prayers. This is how John can have the following confidence:
1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Prayer is such an important part of the life of a believer. In fact, the Apostle Paul states a believer should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is something that holds true no matter what dispensation a believer lives in.
When David speaks of meditation, he is not speaking of the things that we see in some religions. A person is not required to sit down on the floor, with their eyes closed, chanting in order to be meditating. Websters 1828 Dictionary defines meditation as close or continued thought; revolving of a subject in the mind; serious contemplation. We see this has nothing to do with the things seen in these religions. One passage that shows an example related to meditation is:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
In this psalm, David is speaking about the meditation that he is having in his heart (the location of emotions in man). The meditation here is something David had been thinking about and wanted God to say that these things were acceptable. This ties in with what David has said here is Psalm 5, as God will only consider the things he finds to be acceptable in His sight.
The question some people will ask is what God will consider to be acceptable. He can only look at what a person would be doing inside of the dispensation through which He is dealing with man. In the case of David, or for when the Psalms are going to be doctrinally appropriate, this would mean a person has been following the precepts laid down in the law and the other covenants God has been using to deal with the nation of Israel. These are the only things that can be considered to be acceptable in the eyes of God.
Lastly, the third thing David brings up related to this is the issue of cry. The first thing people think of when they see the word cry is a baby, as this is the way that babies communicate. However, the issue of crying has more to do with communication than just someone crying as a baby would. The idea of crying is that a person is to utter in a loud voice; to speak call, or exclaim with vehemence; in a very general sense. There are many different passages where people have cried unto someone. The people cried unto Pharaoh during the famine because they did not have any bread (Genesis 41). They were looking to Pharaoh to solve their problem, which he was able to do through the vision Joseph had related to the famine that was coming. This is also seen in Numbers 11 when Israel complained and God smote them for their continued disobedience. They cried unto Moses for him to make some sort of intercession for them so they would not have to face the wrath of God for their continued disobedience. We also have seen in our studies in the Book of Psalms a place where David had cried unto God:
I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
David here is crying unto God because he is facing trouble in his life. He is communicating with God here in order to receive help to continue to be able to deal with the situation he is facing. He knows that God would be able to provide for everything that he needed, which is why he is making a petition for him to help deal with the situation that has been created by the rebellion of Absalom.
David also makes two statements about who he has been making these prayers to. He states he is speaking to his King and his God. The issue of a King was something that had been a problem in the eyes of the nation of Israel, as they had rejected the program that had been set up for them by God:
When thou art come unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;  Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.  But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.  Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.  And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:  And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:  That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.
Moses here is speaking about what Israel was going to do in the future. The system that had been set up prior to this was that there would be a judge who would rule over the nation Israel. This person would be carrying out the judgments of God, who would be functioning as the King over the nation. They were told that they were not to be like the Gentile nations, who had a king ruling over them.
This prophecy shows there would be a time that would come where they would actually ask for a king to rule over them. This event comes when the nation of Israel asked for a king during the time of Samuel (1 Samuel 8). Samuel feels they have rejected what he has been doing and God informs him that they have actually rejected what God has been doing for the nation. A king is then set up to rule over the nation. The kings who were set up over the nation for the most part rejected the program of God. There were a few exceptions in this, but they were truly rare.
The other thing that nation of Israel was supposed to do was to make sure they were worshipping God. This was instructed in the law:
And God spake all these words, saying,  I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
This was the very beginning of the law that had been given to them. They were to only worship God and not follow after the false worship systems the other nations had around them. This is why they were told that they were not to marry from people of the other nations, as it would lead them to turn their backs on God and cause them to follow the false worship systems. This is the problem with Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-8), as he married women from other nations and eventually started to worship their gods.
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
David is speaking here about the prayers he is going to offer up. He states he is going to offer up these prayers in the morning. This is one of the things that many people who are Christians will do. The feeling is this is a good way to start off the day and focuses a person on the things of God throughout the day. We need to remember that we are told to pray without ceasing, so there is no specific time that a person should be praying to God.
We do see several examples of these prayers being offered up in the morning. A couple of these are actually found speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry:
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
This passage here is the Lord Jesus Christ while He is on the cross. He is speaking here about the fact that His prayer life was going on at all times. He states He was praying during the morning hours and also praying at night.
And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.  And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.  And Simon and they that were with him followed after him.  And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.
This passage here is during the early part of the earthly ministry. The Lord Jesus Christ has just spent a period of time performing miracles, which should have shown to the people of the nation of Israel that He was the Messiah that had been prophesied about. As He carries out His ministry, there are several instances like the one here where the Lord Jesus Christ is praying, which is a demonstration to the believers of how they were to conduct their lives.
With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.
This passage here comes from a song that the nation of Israel is going to be singing. This was going to occur when they were freed from the captivity that they were in. Once they had been freed, they would be singing a song in praise to God, because He had intervened for them and had fulfilled the promises to them, which stated they would be restored again as a nation. This song of praise includes the fact that they would be offering up prayers to God in this manner.
The Lord Jesus Christ teaches the disciples how to pray. This shows the importance of prayer in the life of a believer in any dispensation:
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
This passage here shows the focus of the believers of the nation of Israel. All of the promises made to them were of a kingdom being established here on earth, with the nation of Israel as the head of this nation. This is why they are praying for the kingdom to come in this manner. It will be a heavenly kingdom set up on earth, which is why verse 3 of this psalm identifies they are to be looking upward. They are to be looking and waiting for this kingdom to come, as this will be the fulfillment of the prophetic promises for them.
For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.
David states here that God is not one who has pleasure in any sort of wickedness. According to Websters 1828 Dictionary, wickedness means to depart from the rules of divine law. God cannot have anything to do with sin. There are those who would say that God is going to just forgive everything and will be around those that have sin still on their account. This is something that is dealt with in the book of Malachi:
Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?
The individual being spoken to here thinks that a person who has done evil is going to be considered good in the eyes of God. The question is if this is true, would God then truly be applying judgment, as He would be holding people to different standards. When this psalm was written, and during the time the doctrine of this psalm applies, the members of the nation of Israel need to be keeping the law in order to show they are following the program God has laid out.
The next thing that David brings up is the issue of evil dwelling with God. This is an interesting concept, as God did create evil:
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
If God created evil, we need to have an understanding of what this word means, as it will help to understand what is being meant here. Evil does not mean sin. The definition of evil is:
E'VIL, a. e'vl. [Heb. to be unjust or injurious, to defraud.]
1. Having bad qualities of a natural kind; mischievous; having qualities which tend to injury, or to produce mischief.
Some evil beast hath devoured him. Genesis 37.
2. Having bad qualities of a moral kind; wicked; corrupt; perverse; wrong; as evil thoughts; evil deeds; evil speaking; an evil generation.
3. Unfortunate; unhappy; producing sorrow, distress, injury or calamity; as evil tidings; evil arrows; evil days.
E'VIL, n. Evil is natural or moral. Natural evil is any thing which produces pain, distress, loss or calamity, or which in any way disturbs the peace, impairs the happiness, or destroys the perfection of natural beings.
Moral evil is any deviation of a moral agent from the rules of conduct prescribed to him by God, or by legitimate human authority; or it is any violation of the plain principles of justice and rectitude.
There are also evils called civil, which affect injuriously the peace or prosperity of a city or state; and political evils, which injure a nation, in its public capacity.
All wickedness, all crimes, all violations of law and right are moral evils. Diseases are natural evils, but they often proceed from moral evils.
2. Misfortune; mischief; injury.
There shall no evil befall thee. Psalm 91.
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself. Proverbs 22.
3. Depravity; corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness; malignity.
The heart of the sons of men is full of evil. Ecclesiastes 9.
4. Malady; as the king's evil or scrophula.
E'VIL, adv. [generally contracted to ill.]
1. Not well; not with justice or propriety; unsuitable.
Evil it beseems thee.
2. Not virtuously; not innocently.
3. Not happily; unfortunately.
It went evil with his house.
4. Injuriously; not kindly.
The Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us.
In composition, evil, denoting something bad or wrong, is often contracted to ill.
This long definition here from Websters 1828 Dictionary shows that evil has nothing to do with sin. Evil has to do with the characteristics of an individual and is the opposite of something that is described as being good. The individual who is trying to do the things that God has instructed will do the right things. This is why the following verses are written:
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
These verses show God is not going to have anything to do with sin. In the psalm, David is referring to the fact that he knows what evil is going to lead to. It leads to a person going farther away from the things of God and eventually heading into things of sin. This is why he points out that God is not going to have anything to do with the things that are labeled as evil.
The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
David speaks here about the fact that the foolish are not going to be able to stand in the sight of God. There are many things that the foolish individual can say that would lead to this person not being able to stand before God:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
There are many things that people can say that qualify as being foolish. One of the major ones that we see here is the person who states there is no God. The evidence of God is all around us (Romans 1:18-20). The only way someone can state there is no God is to purposefully make this statement. It is not done of ignorance, but is done because the person is being labeled as a fool.
The issue of the heart is used because this is where the emotions of an individual are. They make an emotional decision to make a statement that there is no God. The reason this is emotional is because of this verse:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The foolish person, who states there is no God, is considered a fool because they despise wisdom and instruction. The only source of wisdom we can rely on comes from God, which is what they are rejecting. They prefer to rely on the things of man, who can only be considered a liar (Romans 3:4). Man is looked at in this manner because the things that are done by man are contrary to God. This is why Solomon made the following statement in Ecclesiastes:
When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
There is no pleasure that God has when He sees a fool. God has a desire that all men would be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). The fact that a person has been doing the things that are contrary to Him indicate a person is rejecting what He is offering to them. There is no pleasure from God, as this means the person is dooming themselves to a time of eternal judgment:
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
This is why David states the fool is not able to stand before God. They are not able to stand in the judgment, as they cannot defend their actions. Their rejection of God dooms them in His eyes. They will be judged according to their works from the Book of Like (Revelation 20:10-15).
The foolish person is labeled as a worker of iniquity, or sin. God cannot have anything to do with sin, as it contrary to Him. Those that still have sin on their account at the judgment will not be able to inherit eternal life. This is why a person needs to accept the salvation that is offered to them (in this dispensation it is the gospel laid out in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
God has a very negative outlook on the things of sin. In fact, the following passage shows the things that are listed as being an abomination to Him, all of which we would call sin:
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,  An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Thou here refers to God. It would not make any sense to state in this psalm that a person was going to fear the destruction that would come from a person. The destruction deals with what we would call the second death, or eternal separation from God. David here gives a warning to those who hear this psalm that God is going to pour out judgment on those that are doing certain things.
The specific example here is leasing. This is a word that has a different meaning today. We look at this as almost a form of renting something, such as leasing a car. The word used here in this verse refers to falsehoods or lying. God is going to pour out His wrath on those that are identified as liars:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
This is a passage that shows that all of those who are identified with sin are going to be experiencing the second death. John, in the passage above from Revelation, identifies a list of people who are going to face this. An individual might start going through this list and state they are not any of these things. The issue is how many people could truly say they were not a liar. All people who meet this criterion will face the wrath of God and will be made partakers of this death.
David states that a person who is bloody and deceitful is something that God hates. There are not many things that God hates. In this article, we have already looked at Proverbs 6:16-19 that show the things God hates. One of these things is listed as those that was listed here is those that are quick to shed blood. God does like those who are violent and live this type of lifestyle. An example of this is that David was not allowed to build the temple for God. This was because God identified him as a man of war and did not want this associated with the temple.
But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.
This is the end result of those who live a violent lifestyle. They are not going to live very long, as they will fall victim to this lifestyle and will be killed. This is why Isaiah writes the following:
For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Isaiah identifies the fact that God is going to punish people for their iniquity (sin) and there will be nothing that is going to cover this. There is even the issue of those that have died at the hands of others and this will be revealed as well.
There is also the issue of deceit that was being brought up here. Those that have the tendency to lie in this manner will have a violent lifestyle. This is because they are of Satan:
Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.
David is now going to switch the focus of the psalm here. He is now going to describe the things that are going to happen to those that are considered righteous in the eyes of God. The righteous in the dispensation this psalm applies would have been following the things of the law:
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
This passage is used by many people today to prove that they are serving God. Joshua and the nation of Israel proved they were following God by the works that were associated with the law program. This is why James identified that faith without works was dead, because they needed to be demonstrating the works in order to demonstrate they were a saved individual.
David is saying he is coming unto the mercy of God. This is important to note, because Israel understood what would be going on according to the prophetic program. There would be a point where the wrath of God would be poured out on individuals because of the transgressions. The nation of Israel would experience the mercy of God and would avoid this wrath if they remained faithful to the program established for them and they kept the law:
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.
These verses are just a few of the ones where it is mentioned that the believer would be relying on the mercy of God. They knew they were in a position where the only thing they could do would be to rely on God, as man does not deserve the mercy of God because of the sin nature we have (given to us as a result of the fall of Adam).
This is why he starts to speak of the fear of God. This was part of the law program, as they feared what God would do to them if they transgressed the law. Their motivation was to avoid the punishment that came with the law.
Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.
Here in Hosea we see an important point that comes up with the nation of Israel. They have a fear of God even when the right things are being done. They are now seeking Him at this point and they are attempting to follow the law. However, there still is a portion of fear there that is motivating them to do the right things.
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:  For our God is a consuming fire.
The author of Hebrews here identifies the service they are offering God is with reverence and fear. This is such a difference from the things said of us in the dispensation of grace. We are motivated by the love God demonstrated towards us (see Romans 5). We do the right things in the eyes of God as a demonstration of the love that was given to us.
This verse concludes with the issue of worshipping God and doing this toward the temple. This type of worship is also found in other passages such as:
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
The issue of worshipping towards the temple was an important issue for the nation of Israel. The temple was the place where God was and the place where the worship was centered for the nation of Israel. They were to be keeping the temple as a holy place and were to have all of their worship there.
This is why the place where the temple should be is an important thing in the prophetic program. The temple is going to be rebuilt again right on the exact spot where it was. This is why there is so much controversy and problems in Jerusalem, as the temple is not there.
Worship is a central part of the program in any dispensation. However, it is important to note that God will only honor things that are done properly according to the dispensation an individual is living under. There also is an expectation that worship will occur no matter the circumstances someone finds themselves in:
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
David states he wants God to be able to guide him. This is a complete reliance on God to be able to follow the plans of God. He knew God would be able to provide help in being able to follow the law, which was the program for him. This type of thinking can also be seen in the following verses:
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.  Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me.  Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
These verses show that there should be a desire to follow the things of God and rely on the righteousness of God, as the only way a person can be righteous is to rely on God.
David is acknowledging this because he knows he has enemies that are trying to keep him from the things of God. The other nations would like for Israel to turn away from the things of God, as this is the only time they are able to have an advantage over the nation of Israel. This is why David says the following in a later psalm:
Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.
In both the above verse and the current verse of Psalm 5 we are looking at, the issue of the path being made clear is stated. The way of God can be found in the Word of God, specifically the Word that is given to a particular people in a particular dispensation. For us, we are given the information to live out lives in Pauls epistles (Romans through Philemon), while the nation of Israel was given the law to understand. There should never have been a question for them on what was going to happen in their lives related to the path of God. This can also be seen in Psalm 25:4, 27:11, and Proverbs 4:25.
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
David is now speaking about the words that individuals speak. He states there is no faithfulness in their mouth. This is something that can be seen in many of the things we hear people speak of today. The Bible is filled with mentions of what is said about the things people say and the results of the mouth:
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.  For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful.  The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.  He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
These two passages from the book of Psalms show the problems with the words people speak. The things that people say really reflect what is inside of them (Matthew 12:34). The things that are said are designed to flatter individuals, to make them think of someone a certain way, or to deceive someone. This is one of the reasons why when a person is studying the Bible they need to rely on what the Word of God says and need to be careful when studying what someone else might be teaching. Only God can speak the truth all the time (Romans 3:4).
And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the LORD.  Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders.  And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.  Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah points out what he has seen in the words of men. He has seen the lies that are said and how this is done to bring about evil, and not good. These things are deceitful and slanderous. Jeremiah even writes that the person who continues to speak in this manner cannot even know God. This is an amazing statement, as it points to the problems that people could identify with what was being said.
David even identified in verse 9 of this psalm that these things are identified as being a sepulchre. This is a grave and refers to the fact that these things bring about death and there is no life in these things being said.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:  Their feet are swift to shed blood:  Destruction and misery are in their ways:  And the way of peace have they not known:  There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Paul is identifying here what it is that is going on with man. In the first three chapters of the book of Romans, Paul is pointing out the condition of man, how they ended up at this point, and concluding with the fact that there is none righteous before God (Romans 3:10, 23). In this passage, part of it defines the words coming out of the mouth of an individual. He equates these words to the poison of asps (snakes) and the destructive power these words can have. This is going to be one of the places where the Apostle Paul will agree with something written by James:
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.  For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
James identifies the tongue as something that cannot be tamed. How many people struggle with trying to change the things that they say? There are so many people that have this problem and do not even realize what the cause of this is. The tongue cannot be tamed because the whole inner man needs to be changed first before the tongue will change and the words someone speaks are different. The only way this change is going to occur is when someone identifies themselves with the things that God has designed for them to do in their program.
The last thing that David identifies with this is flattery. This is the attempt to use good words to try to change the thinking of a person. The end result of this is also identified:
A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.
They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
David is stating what the end result of these people should be. They should be destroyed for their actions against God. The punishment for doing things against God during the dispensation of the law involved this kind of punishment being poured out on individuals. An example was what happened if someone was caught in the act of adultery. Both parties were to be taken outside of the city and were to be stoned to death. It was an immediate punishment and was not to be delayed or ignored. It is why Paul can conclude that the law did not justify anyone in the eyes of God (Romans 3:19-20).
The conclusion that David comes up with is for them to fall by the counsels they have come up with. This means they would be falling by the things they have come up with on their own.
The heathen are sunk down in the pit that they made: in the net which they hid is their own foot taken.  The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
In this psalm, the conclusion is that man is snared in the work of his hands. It is these actions that make a person guilty in the eyes of God. There is nothing where a person can blame someone else for the things they have done wrong, as it is their choice that has led to them doing these things. Therefore, a man is then to be judged guilty and punished for these things.
Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.  Give them according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavours: give them after the work of their hands; render to them their desert.
Man is to be considered guilty because of the things that were done that transgressed the law (1 John 3:4). Since these things are considered sin, God does not have anything to do with sin. If someone still had sin on their account, they were to be punished according to their deeds.
This is why at the Great White Throne judgment is Revelation 20, man is judged according to their works out of the Book of Life. The individuals that still had sin on their account were going to be judged and the end result is they will be cast into the Lake of Fire. This is something that had been explained to Israel many times and they knew what the end result of things would be.
The judgment of God is listed in many different passages. Here are just a couple of times where the Bible records something related to judgment being poured out on those that have transgressed things of God:
Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.  O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.  Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep.  But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded.  So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.
As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.  Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.
These passages, and many others, show why the conclusion of this verse involves the fact that these individuals need to be cast our because of the rebellion against God. This can be seen in some of the things that fell upon the nation of Israel. They would be captured several times during the book of Judges because of their failures. While they were doing the right things at the beginning of the book, the end of the book concludes with the fact that they were doing the things they considered right in their own eyes (Judges 21:25).
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Daniel here shows the place where the nation of Israel is at the time of this prophecy. They have rejected the things of God, which is considered to be rebellion against God. This is also how Isaiah begins his prophecy against the nation of Israel (Isaiah 1:1-2). The rebellion of Israel was complete and they were going to face wrath because of the fact that they did not follow what was being said.
But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
David is not switching gears for the last two verses of this psalm. He had spent time talking about those who were going to face the wrath of God because they had not believed the program of God. He is now going to speak about what will happen to those that have been following the law and have remained faithful.
He states that these people are going to be rejoicing in what is going to happen to them. They have remained faithful and put their trust in what God told them to do, keep the law. The one thing that people can truly glory in is the salvation that God offers to man:
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.
Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.
These three verses from the book of Psalms show that there is to be rejoicing for those that have been seeking God and remaining faithful. When God comes back to earth to establish the kingdom, there will be a rejoicing that is done by the faithful members of the Little Flock:
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed:  Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.  And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord GOD shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name:  That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
Isaiah shows there will be a rejoicing by those that are the faithful because they are seeing God fulfill the promises that He made and the establishment of the kingdom is happening. This can be seen by the expression of singing that comes from their heart. They will sing with what is in their heart, which is the joy of seeing God fulfill what had promised.
While singing can be one expression of joy that is seen in the Bible, another expression is shouting. This is why David uses this here in this verse. This can also be seen in some other passages:
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
These three passages show the shouting that is done. All of this is done as part of the rejoicing that is being done by the faithful individual of the nation of Israel as they are seeing the promises of the kingdom being fulfilled.
The rejoicing is done in part also because there is protection that is being provided by God. He takes care of those who are following what He has established for them. As the nation enters the 70th week of Daniel, there will be a time when wrath is being poured out. The faithful remnant is told they need to flee into the wilderness in order to receive the protection of God. He will take care of those that are remaining true to what he has established for the believers.
There will clearly be those that love the name of God when He comes back, as they know they are going to be receiving the blessings that have been promised. This is why this is found later in this book:
For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession.  The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.
This final verse here gets into the issue of the blessings of God. The blessings of God under the law only come upon those that have remained faithful to the program. This is the whole purpose of Deuteronomy 28, which gets into the blessings and cursings that would come upon the nation of Israel. The thing that would determine if someone faced the blessings or the cursings was if someone followed what the law said. They remained faithful and would have been considered righteous because of the following of the law. This is why the book of Psalms begins in this manner:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Their delight was in the law, as this is what showed they were righteous. In this dispensation, we are declared righteous the moment we put our trust in the gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 2 Corinthians 5:21). The fact that we are righteous is what allows God to be able to say we have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). It is such a glorious thing to realize what God has accomplished for us, as we are already considered to be righteous and blessed.
The motivation for Israel was fear of God. They feared the cursings of God and would do the right thing. This issue can be seen in several passages from the book of Psalms, such as Psalm 29:11, 112:1, and 115:13. The conclusion that comes from David is:
Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
There is a favor, or protection of God that surrounds (compasses) the believer under the dispensation where the doctrine of the book of Psalms will apply. They will be going through the events of the 70th week of Daniel and will be looking for the protection of God. He had promised that the members of the nation of Israel who remained faithful would be protected as they were going through this time. This is why God is described as a shield:
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
The blessings of God are going to come for the nation of Israel. They are waiting for the times of refreshing to come (Acts 3:19) so that they can partake of theses blessings. This is why a Psalm such as this is written, as the nation continues to wait and look for these blessings. This reminder helps them to remember that they need to continue to walk in the faith so that they can receive these blessings.