Psalm 5 forms a chiastic structure:
1A: Psa 5:1-3, prayer of the righteous before the LORD;
1B: Psa 5:4-6, God’s rejection of the wicked;
CENTRAL AXIS: Psa 5: 7-8, “But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple. Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before my face.”
2B: Psa 5:9-10, God’s rejection of the wicked;
2A: Psa 5:11-12, praise of the righteous before the LORD.
Notice that the central axis, the highlight of the psalm, describes that the righteous, whom God does not hate and whom God has not rejected, come into God’s house – into the place where He is, into His presence – by the multitude of His mercy. They don’t get there because of the multitude of their righteous acts. So what is the difference, why does God abhor one while favoring the other?
This psalm makes it clear, that God does not take pleasure in wicked acts. He will not dwell with evil doers, He will not be found in evil actions. He hates and abhors wicked men. The wicked are those who take pleasure in wickedness, and who have rebelled against God.
The righteous need mercy too in order to come into His presence. But in contrast, the righteous daily seek God; from the beginning of every day, they pray to the One they acknowledge as both God and King. They fear Him as God – they are mindful that He is a God who judges wickedness and sin, and so out of fear of offending His holiness, they worship Him. It doesn’t mean they come before Him quaking every day – but it does mean that they are mindful and careful of conducting their life in a way that is not offensive to Him, to the best of their ability.
The righteous recognize that they need God to lead them into walking in His righteous way, so that they too can walk with Him. They have not rebelled against Him, but have submitted to His kingship – His right to give commands and expect their obedience. Increasing in righteousness is a mark of those beloved by God, but not why they are beloved by God in the first place.
Because of the multitude of God’s mercy, the righteous can then rejoice and be glad in God’s favor or grace, blessing, and protection – because they trust in Him. They don’t trust in their righteousness, but their trust is in Him – in His mercy.
The Scriptures teach one gospel of grace by faith from Genesis to Revelation!