The theme of Psalm 5 is righteousness. There is a definite interplay between the righteousness of the Lord and His people and the unrighteousness, or wickedness, of the evil, sinful, and unbelievers. The word righteousness (at least as far as English translations are concerned) appears in verse eight (referring to the Lord) and verse 12 (referring to His people). In contrast, the wicked are dealt with almost exclusively in verses four through six and nine and ten.
Unfortunately for our study purposes, no context is given other than that King David is the author of the psalm. The psalm itself does have an up-and-down feel to it, much like David’s life did.
Psalm 5 seems to have a certain amount of symmetry to it, as Hebrew poetry often does. The first three verses start with David’s appeal for the Lord to hear his prayers based on his relationship with God (“my King and my God”). The tension begins to rise as David pits his case against the godless, who lack a relationship with God, as David confesses when he says, “evil may not dwell with you,” and they “shall not stand before your eyes.” The apex of the psalm occurs in verse seven, when David’s confession of faith is what he basis his hope on, not on his good works. “But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house.” He then appeals for God’s guidance and favor.
As the psalm descends towards its conclusion, David’s thoughts again return to the wicked, who have no hope because they “must bear their guilt,” (verse 10). The symmetry is completed with the final two verses as we are once again treated to the beauty of a relationship with God. “But all who take refuge in you rejoice…for you bless the righteous O Lord; you cover them with favor as with a shield.”
This psalm, as have the first four, has a clear presentation of Law and Gospel. I am looking forward to learning more about having an active relationship with God by studying Psalm 5.