Do we appreciate the privilege of waking up after a night’s sleep? In the words of a poet, “Every day is a new beginning, every morn is the world made new.” If life were one continuous succession of hours, think how different it would be!
But no, God wisely decreed that we must sleep. And wake. He divided our lives into small-sized units that we can handle. David recognized it especially and built it into his hymnbook. We don’t know the tune, but we can get the message.
Ps. 5:1-3 To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. 1Give ear to my words, O Lord, Consider my meditation.
David petitions God to hear him. It is like saying, God I need you! His words, “Give ear” literally mean to broaden the ear with the hand, as when a deaf person cups his hand behind his ear to stop the sound so that he can hear better what is being said. That is the expression David used to God. “Lord, cup your hand behind Your ear so You can hear me better.”
Then David says, God, consider my meditation. What is the “meditation”? The word hints at an unspoken prayer, at an aching longing of his innermost being.
2Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: For unto thee will I pray.
David uses another word here which is even more daring. “Hearken” is a Hebrew word which means “to prick up the ear,” as when a dog suddenly cocks his ear to listen to a sound that the human ear cannot hear at all. That is what David asked God to do—His King, and his Creator. In deepest and most earnest prayer David approaches God with what we might call holy boldness. Verse 3:
3My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
Prayer is the breath of David’s being. “My voice You will hear in the morning”—You, he says, are my very first thought when I awake. “I will direct my prayer unto You. Or, “I will order my prayer…” I will put my thoughts in order. What is it that I need from You, Lord? Strength for today, courage for today, and the power to keep focused on my obedience to You all day.
The Revised English Bible says it well:
Ps. 5:3 (REB) 3When I pray to you, Lord, in the morning you will hear me. I shall prepare a morning sacrifice and keep watch.
David would “prepare a morning sacrifice, and keep watch”! Doesn’t that tell US what WE need to do? Let us think in the morning, What can I sacrifice today? What am I giving up for my God and King and my hope of life in the world to come?
David’s sacrifice was more than a morning occasion. His life was an all-day prayer. Hear his words in a later psalm:
Ps. 55:17 (KJV 1900) 17Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: And he shall hear my voice.
Or his offering of praise.
Ps. 119:164 164Seven times a day I praise You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
The number “seven” here is likely a round number meaning “all.” David wanted his whole day to be a song of praise.
David did more than offer a morning prayer to God. He opened his whole being to God and begged him to search.
Under the Searchlight
When David prayed, he put his soul under the searchlight of the Almighty. Hear his prayer at the beginning of Psalm 26:
Ps. 26:1–4 1Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.
David sincerely felt he had done right, that he had walked in “integrity,” that he had trusted in the Lord, and would not slip. Still he asked God to look closer.
2Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
Three serious checks:
1. Examine me, O Lord.
David says, Put me to the test. Check me out, Lord, because I know I’ve failed you before. Then he says
2. Prove me.
Test me for reality. I want to be genuine, not even a smidgen of hypocrisy.
This kind of testing is the language of the smelter. The gold has to be purified by fire to free it from the dross.
3. Try my mind and my heart.
Probe down to the innermost recesses of my being, and you should find only more and more integrity!
Then David praises God for His lovingkindness.
3For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
David’s life was a divinely obedient life, a life compelled by God’s lovingkindness and the power of truth. At the same time, he kept separate as much as possible.
4I have not sat with idolatrous mortals
David had no time for the false, vain, and worthless, the out-and-out hypocrites, those who would destroy the good. The Greek form of the word is the one from which we get our English word pornography.
Nor will I go in with hypocrites [dissemblers].
He did all he could to avoid the evil influence. He might have to meet them at times, but no joining their company, no sitting down with them. Not for a moment!
There is a place and time to say a polite but positive “No!” to the wrong kind of company, friendships, or associations. Keeping separate is the only right thing to do. It is the only way to remain true to God, to walk away from such entanglements. If only Solomon had heeded his own advice, how different would be the end of his story! What he wrote is for us:
Prov. 4:14–15 14Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil. 15Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.
David’s heart was to keep on the right way, and when he failed, to come BACK to it. That is why he could say each day, “Good morning, Lord!” and begin again with God.
David was not alone in appreciating God’s “every morning” goodness. We hear it from Jeremiah, in his book of Lamentations.
Lam. 3:22–23 22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
The very fact that God grants us another day is evidence of His mercy, His loving kindness, His compassion as He grants us another and yet another opportunity.
When we say “Good morning, Lord!” let us appreciate anew God’s every morning faithfulness, and each morning renew our resolve to return that faithfulness, to be faithful to our ever faithful God.
That every day faithfulness on our part is the secret of the overcoming, fully committed life that says a solid “No!” to the world and “Yes!” to God.