2 Listen to my cry for help,
my King and my God,
for to you I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait in expectation.
4 You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil;
with you the wicked cannot dwell.
5 The arrogant cannot stand in your presence;
you hate all who do wrong.
6 You destroy those who tell lies;
bloodthirsty and deceitful men
the LORD abhors.
7 But I, by your great mercy,
will come into your house;
in reverence will I bow down
toward your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness
because of my enemies—
make straight your way before me.
9 Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
their heart is filled with destruction.
Their throat is an open grave;
with their tongue they speak deceit.
10 Declare them guilty, O God!
Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
12 For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (Psalm 5)
C. S. Lewis said about prayer, “We must lay before him what is in us, not what ought to be in us.” I think David may have been one of the best at this, of confessing what is in him rather than what ought to be in him. Often found prostrated before the Lord, David seemed to have a unique understanding of God’s loving embrace of the honest sinner.
There is brilliance in the life lived with an awareness of what is inside and what ought to be inside. The balance of maintaining honest dialogue about one’s weaknesses, while striving to be filled with the love that ought to exist in one’s heart is perhaps the essence of worship. At least David seemed to think so. He constantly walked this line in his relationship with God, of confessing his weakness and striving for redemption.
So many events in life expose our weaknesses and reveal what is really within us. My wife and I have experienced this with our first son, who is working toward his second birthday. We’ve realized we are weak to care for him completely, weak to love him unconditionally, weak to understand his needs fully, and on and on. We are weak to care, love, and understand and yet when we confess these weaknesses, it seems to only enhance our ability to parent him.
I think this must be what David understood and what C. S. Lewis understood—that only when we understand what is in us, or not in us, may we prepare to arrive at what ought to be in us.