Daily Family Worship

Psalm 5: A Prayer Against False Teachers

by | Apr 3, 2024

psalm 5

This Psalm is a prayer full of those mental exercises which are felt under the deepest and most secret temptations which can only be known by experience, because no words can describe them; for they are those feelings under which the saints agonize in those bitter and unutterable conflicts which are entirely unknown to the world. They are those feelings under which they wrestle when they are struggling with sin, the law, and the wrath and judgment of God – all of which are experienced in hours of spiritual darkness, while the devil is horribly tempting them and pressing them down.

These internal fears and terrors, under which all Godly persons are afflicted, will one day utterly swallow up the hypocrites who are destitute of the Word. Like the people of God, the wicked experience an unspeakable conflict between their sin and God’s wrath, and between desperation and despair – but the difference is that the Godly are ultimately delivered and saved. In other places in Scripture, these terrors are called “the pains of hell” and “the snares of death.” But this Psalm expressly teaches us that in the end, the sighs and groans of the Godly under these agonizing conflicts and pains shall surely be heard by the Lord. This Psalm, therefore (and others like it), opens to us a view of the heart of David, and provides the greatest consolation to the children of God; for it shows that although the saints thus deeply agonize under these terrible views of their sin and the wrath of God, yet these temptations – which appear to be infinite and endless – shall surely have an end! The Lord will never forsake those who fear Him, even when they are in the midst of their terrors and conflicts with sin.

On the other hand, the Psalmist – with a wonderful zeal of spirit, and with the most cutting sharpness and severity – strikes at all the wicked ones of this world. And above all, he condemns all secure hypocrites and Pharisaical ministers – calling them “workers of iniquity,” notwithstanding their outward appearance of being saints. These persons persecute all afflicted and true Christians with the bitterness of Cain, and they do not cease to hate them with all the virulence of Satan – adding grief to their grief, and affliction to their affliction. “Depart from me,” says the Psalmist, “all ye workers of iniquity.” He has learned that he has a God to go to, but they are ignorant of both God and His works. They do not know what an awful weight the wrath of Jehovah is; nor do they know how great and soul-refreshing it is to enjoy the remission of sins, the knowledge of eternal life, and the experience of grace. They worship God with their mouths and their lips, they trust in their own righteousness and works, and they are most cruel and bitter enemies to the Word and the true worship of God – in which worship, the greatest and most acceptable sacrifice is a spirit that has been pressed under affliction, but has also learned to repent and call upon the name of the Lord for deliverance from the overwhelming power of sin.

Lord Jesus, we thank You for hearing our supplications, and for not turning away Your ear from us! Continue to draw near to those who desire to draw near to You in repentance and faith, and reveal Yourself to them as the one and only Savior from sin and temptation. Amen.

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