Whoever compiled the Psalter gave instructions to the musicians for some particular Psalms. In the case of Psalm 5, the instructions are “To the choirmaster: for the flutes.” I can’t help but wonder what this song might have sounded like when sung by the choir. Maybe David was the singer. He is said to have written this Psalm, and although some argue that it had to have come at a later date, I see no compelling reason to doubt the description of Psalm 5, as accredited in Verse one as being “Psalm of David.” Being music, I can’t help but think of my own era of music, and I can’t help but think of Neil Diamond’s song entitled, “I am I said.” Neil’s song says, “I am I said, to no one there and no one heard at all, not even the chair.” David knew who he was addressing in his song Psalm 5. He sings, with the flute accompaniment, I assume, “Give ear to my words, Oh Lord.” Like many of our generation, Neil is a victim of the post-modern trend away from objective reality. To them, if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist. The popularized question about a tree falling in the wilderness does not make any noise unless someone is there to perceive it. And if I don’t perceive it myself, it doesn’t make any noise. We are the center of the universe. It’s all about me.

But David’s song addresses the existence and the presence of the one true God who hears us in the deepest and darkest wildernesses of our lives. This is objective truth. Ronald Knox wrote a limerick to capture these ideas. He wrote, “There once was a man who said ‘God Must think it exceedingly odd If he finds that this tree
Continues to be when there’s no one about in the Quad.’” An unknown writer replied, “Dear Sir, your astonishment’s odd. I am always about in the Quad.
And that’s why the tree will continue to be since observed by, yours faithfully,  God.”

David wants God to hear him but also to recognize the existential alienation he feels. He not only wants God to “Give ear to my words, O Lord,” but he asks God to “consider my groaning.” The second stanza of Neil’s song intensifies his appeal also. It says,  “I am… I cried. I am… said I. And I am lost, and I can’t even say why.
Leavin’ me lonely still.” There is a profound personal address going on here. One looks to God; one looks to an impersonal universe that couldn’t care less about you or me. But like David, our words and prayers open a dialogue with God in which he is a partaker. Williams says, “We speak; God hears. His ear is inclined to us. We do not speak into space, we speak into the ear of the Lord.[1]

[1] Williams, Donald, and Lloyd J. Ogilvie. 1986. Psalms 1–72. Vol. 13. The Preacher’s Commentary Series. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.