Psalms 5:1

Psalms 5:1

Give ear to my words, O Lord
Meaning not his words in common conversation, but in prayer; the words which came out of his mouth, and were audibly expressed by him at the throne of grace, and design vocal prayer; and so stand distinguished from the meditation of his heart, sacred ejaculations, or mental prayer; see ( Psalms 54:2 ) ( 19:14 ) ; and words in prayer to God ought to be few, at least not repeated, ( Ecclesiastes 5:2 ) ( Matthew 6:7 ) ; and these should be a man's own words, as were the psalmist's; not what were suggested by another, or written in a book before him, but what were of his own composing and putting together, under the direction of the Spirit of God; who put words into his mouth, and furnished him both with words and matter, and which he freely uttered before the Lord: and this is the "parrhesia", boldness, freedom of speech, which the Scriptures speak of, ( Hebrews 4:16 ) ( 10:19 ) ; and the saints are allowed to use in prayer before God; when they may pour out their souls unto him, and freely tell him all their mind, as the psalmist now did; to which he entreats the Lord to "give ear"; not that God has a corporeal ear as man has, but he that made the ear has the power of hearing: this is an anthropopathy, and is spoken after the manner of men; such as are of kind and benevolent dispositions do not turn away, but stop and hear what a poor miserable object has to say to them, to whom they listen and return an answer; and so this phrase is expressive of the kind regard God has to the prayers of the destitute, which he does not despise but delight in; and of his bowing and inclining his ear, or of the strict and close attention he gives to them; and of the full and suitable answer he returns, in his own time and way; and is what the psalmist most earnestly entreats. He adds,

consider my meditation;
the prayer he had meditated: for meditation is requisite to prayer, and should go before it; which is necessary in order to pray with the understanding; nor should men utter anything rashly and hastily before the Lord: it may design mental prayer, in distinction from vocal prayer, signified by his words before, such as that of Moses at the Red sea, and of Hannah before Eli, ( Exodus 14:15 ) ( 1 Samuel 1:13 ) . The word also signifies inward mourning, and groans; the root from whence this is derived to mourn, and is so rendered in ( Isaiah 38:14 ) ; where Hezekiah compares his prayers to the chattering of a crane and swallow, and the mourning of a dove; and are the same with the unutterable groanings with which the Spirit of God sometimes makes intercession for the saints, ( Romans 8:26 ) ; and which are not hid from God, ( Psalms 38:9 ) ; but are well known to him: he understands the language of a sigh or groan; and so the words may be rendered "understand my moan" F3.


FOOTNOTES:

F3 (ynynx) "murmur meum", Vatablus, Gejerus; "gemitum meum", Cocceius, Hammond; "gemitus et suspiria mea", Michaelis.
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