I reverse the sequence. Psalm 5 is a morning Psalm; 4 is an evening prayer.
v11 - JOY for all who take refuse in You,
endless songs of gladness!
that's verse 11 though -and we get to verse 11 in our days. But often, with the many things we carry upon our shoulders and in our hearts, we wake up dreary with verse 1's 'listen to my cry for help!'. And it's a good way to begin the day: set our sights on the One and 'lay our case before him' (v3) to call to mind who God is - One who does not delight in perversion and injustice but will act decisively against such perpetrators. So the morning prayer quietens down to this
'lead me, make your way plain' (v8),and a sobering reminder that YHWH is the one who will protect for his favour works like a shield. (v12).
is an end-of-day time with God. And o how we know that even as we worked and wished and wrestled through our day, we often come face to with one more 'w' -weariness. So the question before us:
'how long will you be heavy of heart,
why love what is vain and chase after illusions?'and i ask to be shown what vanities have captured my attention, what crazy notions have become so important to me? Prone to wonder and wander, to want to define our path... figure out our itinerary... we do it so well with travel plans and career and even relationships perhaps -- but somehow, life at large escapes us. Our success in the pieces don't set in place a clear picture of peace. Vanities and illusions abound.
'many keep saying, who will put happiness before our eyes?' (v6)for we sure cannot quite see it!
And we can carry all the questions, regrets, longings deep into our being and act out of them- lashing in anger, accusing others of letting us down, rehearsing our hurts.. So,
'be careful not to sin'
The Bible honestly acknowledges this reality that we are often conflicted and unsure...but teaches us
'on your beds keep silence'which relates to a word given more than thousand years later:
'do not let the sun go down on your anger, do not give the devil a foothold' (Eph 4v26)
and i wonder: could it be that when we sleep we are vulnerable; and our enemy gladly enter through any breaches in trust. Our unresolved, un-rested hearts and worried minds are gaps and welcome openings to him; so over time, it just gets easier for him to keep coming back and tormenting us over those same things. Do we feel a rut, an inability to grow, a repeated trend? Perhaps there is a need to quiet, slow, repent and let the One come and seal those gaps. Again, and again.
The greatest marvel of it all is limited man can know and enjoy unlimited transcendent GOD
' to my heart You are a richer joy than all..' (v7).