Explaining the Book

Bible Study Guide

Psalms

Psalm 28 5 Commentary

As we begin our Psalm 28 5 Commentary, let’s note that David here continues in verse 5 with justification for the way he just prayed. Why is David asking for the wicked to receive their due reward?

5 Because they regard not the works of the LORD,
nor the operation of his hands,

he shall destroy them,
and not build them up.

Now, the reason that David wants the wicked to be punished is because they are ignoring certain things about God.

They’re ignoring his works and the operation of his hands.

Psalm 28 5 Commentary
Works

The word works here is closely related to the word deeds in verse 4 and the word workers in verse 3. Also, operation is the same word that we find translated as work in verse 4. I point that out simply to show that there is a lot of repetition of themes throughout this psalm.

Psalm 28 5 Commentary
Hands

Also, notice the mention of hands for the third time in this psalm. We’ve seen David lifting his hands in prayer. We’ve seen the wicked using their hands for idolatrous and evil purposes. And now here we see God’s hands. And the reference is most likely to creation in general – and perhaps mankind specifically.

And a rejection of creation – whether it involves a “big bang” or a false god – and then the subsequent lack of concern for those made in God’s image has characterized the wicked through the ages. It was true of the wicked in David’s day and is certainly true of the wicked today.

Psalm 28 5 Commentary
Destroy and Not Build

So, because of these realities, David is assured that the Lord will destroy (haras) these wicked men as we see at the end of verse 5.

Destroy (haras) and build (banah) are used together in 9 other verses in the Old Testament. Once on the lips of Job. Once in Proverbs concerning women and their households. Once in Ezekiel and once in Malachi. The other five times we see these two words used together in a single verse are found in Jeremiah – 1:10; 24:6; 31:28; 42:10; and 45:4.

And we know that so much of the context of Jeremiah is the destruction of these kinds of wicked men – on a national level.

Now, return to our Psalm 28 Commentary!

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