June 26, 2020
Daybreak: Psalms 5:1 through 7:17
“The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.” (Psalm 6:9)
On December 9, 1911, a terrible explosion roared through the Cross Mountain Mine in Coal Creek, Tennessee. Eighty-nine miners had gone into the mine that morning, and all were presumed dead.
When a local Methodist minister heard about the tragedy, he immediately went to the mine to offer prayer and spiritual support to the families who had assembled at the entrance. As he moved among the grieving families, the minister heard one woman praying that God would deliver her husband alive from the destroyed mine. She could be heard offering that same prayer many times as the hours went by and rescue workers tunneled through the collapsed shafts looking for survivors. In time, bodies began to be brought out and identified, and graves were dug in nearby cemeteries.
The families of the men who had been trapped inside the mine were consulted about funeral plans. Two-and-a-half days after the explosion, workers came to Mrs. Henderson, the woman who had been praying for her husband’s safe return. They asked her where she wanted her husband buried, explaining that they expected to soon reach the area where he had been working on the day of the explosion. She told them, “Bill is not dead. I haven’t been on my knees two-and-a-half days for nothing!” The workers told her no one had been found alive to that point, but she insisted that her husband had not been killed. In fact, knowing that the rescue team was about to reach Bill’s area, she went home and began heating water for him to wash with when he came out of the mine! Just a short time later, workers found Bill Henderson barricaded behind some boards deep within the mine — he was very much alive! Bill even gave the rescuers his light to use, as theirs had gone out just as they reached him.
David’s words in our focus verse reflect the same note of confidence that Mrs. Henderson had after she brought her petition to God. The psalmist was in a time of deep distress when he prayed the prayer recorded in Psalm 6. However, after he poured out his heart to the Lord, his tone changed; his words no longer reflected anguish. Instead, there was a ring of confidence as he asserted, “The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayer.”
What assurance we find in the knowledge that God hears our prayers! Just as God was mindful of the supplications of David and Mrs. Henderson, He hears those who call upon His name today. The Lord may not respond when we want or by doing what we ask, but we can have confidence that He knows what we are facing. As we look His way in heartfelt and believing prayer, He will do what is best for us and will glorify His name, as David so often proved.
Psalm 5 is a morning prayer associated with the Temple worship. Like the two preceding psalms, this song was composed in a time of peril and controversy. Commentators often classify it as an imprecatory psalm — one in which the writer invokes judgment, calamity, or curses upon his enemies or those perceived to be the enemies of God. Authored by David, this psalm was most likely written shortly after Absalom’s revolt.
David’s reverent sense of the holiness of God and His sovereignty is in stark contrast with the lying, bloodthirsty, and deceitful men described in verse 9. The descriptive phrases of that verse are repeated in Romans 3:13, where they depict the wickedness of the unsaved.
David was aware that lies were being spoken and conspiracies formed against him. However, he did not ask for justice on his own behalf; in verse 10 he related that his enemies “have rebelled against thee.” The psalmist concluded with a tone of confidence, giving a three-fold reason why those who have put their trust in God do not need to fear their enemies: God will defend, bless, and shield them.
Also written by David, Psalm 6 is a prayer for deliverance. It is the first of the penitential psalms — psalms which express repentance and sorrow for sin. (The others are 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143.) This psalm can be divided into three sections: verses 1-5 relate to the psalmist’s physical condition; verses 6-7 describe his suffering and grief; and verses 8-10 reflect his conclusion of confident trust.
The psalmist’s deep spiritual distress is evident in his opening words. He felt his affliction was divine retribution for sin, and he pleaded for God’s mercy. In verses 6-7 he indicated that he was so burdened by guilt and grief that his tears had literally flooded his bed. Adding to his suffering was the fact that his enemies continued their unceasing opposition in spite of his serious illness.
The psalm concludes with a transition in tone from despair to relief. David declared that God had heard his cry, and as a result, his enemies would be vanquished.
Psalm 7 is another song of lament written by David, this one centering on a plea for justice against those who slander the righteous. The word Shiggaion in the title may mean “a passionate or intense song.” While the identity of Cush the Benjamite (also in the title) cannot be assuredly stated, he most likely was a close associate of Saul who made slanderous accusations against David. This psalm is the first of eight psalms traditionally associated with David’s flight from Saul. (The others are 34, 52, 54, 56, 57, 59 and 142).
Rather than taking matters into his own hands, the psalmist asked God for deliverance and justice. He trusted that the Lord would protect him no matter what was said about him because he was innocent of the false accusations.
The word translated reins in verse 9 literally means “kidneys.” Throughout the Old Testament, this word is used to indicate the conscience.
At the conclusion of the psalm, David praised God. He did not express gratitude because those who did evil against him were going to be punished, but because God’s glory and righteousness was being magnified as a result of his prayer.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. Book I (1:1 — 41:13)
II. Book II (42:1 — 72:20)
III. Book III (73:1 — 89:52)
IV. Book IV (90:1 — 106:48)
V. Book V (107:1 — 150:6)
A Closer Look
- What good example did David set for us at the conclusion of his prayer in Psalm 7?
- Based on these three psalms, how do you think David viewed God?
- What can we learn from David’s prayers that will benefit us in our own prayer life today?
When trials come, let us seek the Lord immediately and continually, remembering His wonderful promises and believing that He will hear and answer in the very best way.