Up to this point, the structures of the psalms have been pretty straight forward but Psalm 5 breaks loose! The extra layers of patterns and structures reveal deeper meaning through complexity and beauty only possible through the Ruach Ha’Qodesh.
First, we looked at some very intentional and intricate language in verse 9.
It is an introverted parallel with complex syntax (sentence structure) imbedded in the lines.
A For there is no truth in their mouth;
B their inmost self is destruction;
B their throat is an open grave;
A they flatter with their tongue.
Please know that although sometimes helpful, identifying these writing devices not necessary to understand YHWH’s plan for us. They can, however, help to translate the depth of emotion or meaning behind the words. My intention of this exercise is to appreciate the intricacies of Biblical writing. Scripture is meditative literature, Psalms especially. It is designed to encourage deep thought. This writer has dedicated himself to writing praises and laments to YHWH and as a result, he has been filled by the Spirit, revealing the manifold wisdom of YHWH through beauty and precision of language!
We also identified the center of the Ps 5 chiastic found in verse
Lead me, O YHWH (8)
In verse 7 David creates a list of things he plans to do. However, he realizes this can only be accomplished by YHWH leading him, “through the abundance of His (YHWH’s) steadfast love.” Steadfast love is often translated as “grace” or “compassion.” We discussed the significance of the word “compassion” being used for the first time in Psalm 5.
Finally, we did some complex color-coding of pronouns and found a secondary structure where we highlighted the beaks in the pattern. This small detail of a break in pattern reveals a powerful encouragement:
Those that love the Name (shem – name, authority, character) of the Father will be led on a straight path, leading to the dwelling of YHWH where we will be able to worship and praise Him!
Lead me, O YHWH! In the first 4 psalms, we are given many choices – Mediate on Torah or emptiness? Trust YHWH or seize control? It is only fitting that in Psalm 5 David cries out to YHWH, asking to be led on a straight path.
By analyzing this psalm, I hope that you begin to understand the beautiful complexity of Biblical writing, and Biblical poetry in particular.
I pray you find the straight path. I pray you hear the voice of YHWH calling you to His plan, His purpose, His kingdom.
Read the Habakkuk study here: Habakkuk