Today’s guest response comes from Andrew Kneeland. Andrew is currently a junior at AFLBS. He comes from Arizona and does extensive writing at Twins Target, where he has learned all about suffering.
I’m a night owl.
I’ve always been able to think clearer in the hours after 10 p.m. than in those before 10 a.m. I’m sure many of you can relate; this is just the way God wired me. As such, I have always done my daily devotions at night, when my mind isn’t foggy.
But as a new Bible School student, all of that has changed.
Classroom devotions are scheduled for 7:45 a.m., so I have had to adjust my sleeping schedule by a few hours. With the ability to spend a few minutes in the Word each morning, I’ve come to realize the importance of pre-breakfast prayer.
And that’s exactly what Psalm 5 is: a pre-breakfast prayer.
For many, the first thought leaving their brain each morning is disappointment. It’s time to wake up already? As the alarm clock sounds its all-too-familiar siren, any desire for additional rest is scared away as we come to the harsh realization that it’s time to start the day.
But what happens next? If you’re anything like me, you will spend a few lingering seconds longing for an extra hour in the night, before eventually diving head-first into the day’s schedule. First I’m going to shower, then maybe grab a bite to eat, then start checking projects off the list. When I swing my legs to the floor, I’ve mentally mapped out a good portion of the day’s events. Another busy day.
But am I too busy to spend a few minutes talking things over with my Heavenly Father? Hardly.
David lies down for a peaceful night of sleep at the conclusion of Psalm 4, and Psalm 5 is a morning prayer. “Give ear to my words, O Lord,” should be the first thing out of our mouths each day, and we should plead for God’s presence and protection before our feet hit the ground.
Too often, the toughest challenge of each day takes place as we lie in our beds, rubbing the sleep from our eyes. It’s too easy to begin plotting our schedule for the day ahead without consulting Christ. Not bringing Jesus into our internal conversations is never a good way to start off the day, and is a dangerous first step towards sinful pride.
If we don’t call on the Lord before we start the day, it’s far too easy to let the whirlwind of life get between us and our Heavenly Daddy.
In verse 7, David praised the Lord for the privilege of being allowed into public worship, citing Christ’s “abundant lovingkindness.” Even though David was speaking of a physical blessing, God’s mercy and grace allows us the gift of salvation; the ability to dwell in His presence and enter His eternal house. What a privilege!
The word “lovingkindness” is translated from the Hebrew word “eáleov,” which literally means “kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them.” Oh, how miserable we sinners are! But praise God for His kindness towards us, and His desire to lift us from the mud.
Indeed, Christ shows his love not only by setting our feet on solid ground, but also by pointing our feet in the right direction and shielding us from evil.
At the time of this Psalm, David’s enemies were spreading harmful and malicious lies to harm him. Instead of taking on his foe alone, David chooses to fall back into the ever-steady hands of the Almighty, and find refuge in Christ’s loving embrace.
How but for the grace and “eáleov” of Christ can we expect to hit the curveballs Satan throws at us? With the frightening storms of life swirling around us, it’s vitally important to pray for God’s provision and protection.
And it’s just as important that we do it before we wake up each morning.