Psalm 5 begins with one kind sound and ends with another. Both sounds come from the same source: the heart of God’s people. The first sound is the sighing cry of the person who looks out on a world that makes no sense. The wicked should not be winning. The innocent should not be incarcerated. The frail should not be trampled under the boots of the fierce. The man of God turns to the only One who can restore things back to justice. In sighing, he pleads his case:
3 O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;
in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch. (Psalm 5:3, NRSV)
Instead of wandering through life in jaded apathy or trembling through life in fearful despair, the psalmist trusts in God. He hands over his concerns and watches to see how God will respond.
The second sound comes nearly at the psalm’s end:
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. (Psalm 5:11, NRSV)
Those who take refuge in the Lord begin to rejoice and sing. He takes away their fear and their cynicism. They come to know the protection of God’s love. There are so many reasons to praise, their voices cannot help but erupt in song.
It can be difficult to face the world and still find energy to sing. The evil and injustice of this place is as rampant as in David’s time. In those moments, a sigh – a cry of frustration that pleads for reparation – is the appropriate sound. Can we follow David through the sigh to the moment of singing? In following the psalm’s pattern, finding refuge in God’s loving response will lead to sounds of rejoicing. God hears our concerns. He knows the struggles of this world. Let His peace cover you as a shield … and let the singing burst forth.