Psalms

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!

O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? 
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.

Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. 
Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

***

The beginning of this Psalm of David is a cry of remembrance.   Often when I begin to pray, I speak boldly to the Lord for my own remembrance of what God has already done in my life.  It is a way to honor God by saying that you acknowledge what He has done, and now you look to Him for the answers to new prayers.  Verses 2 & 3 bring bitter sweetness to my mind.  I know my God, and I know His ways.  I work for Him, and do as He wills for me.  And yet, the people around me call me foolish for believing that God will be my stronghold, my protector, and my provider.  The world seeks it’s own wisdom in the provision of their hands, but I have been shown the truth… that my God will provide as I trust in Him.  How I wish I could reveal the truth to them!

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6

Verses 4 & 5 are a reminder that I need to take my woes to God.  I need to be alone, pondering over what lies beneath my anger.  I should not sin by calling them out, but instead come to God with what He desires: “my sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” – Psalm 51:17.  I will put my trust in the Lord that all is because He wills it, “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

I love verses 6-8.  Before I knew Christ I would daily be challenged to find what would bring me joy, and what I could find that was ‘good’.  Oh how I pray that God would shine His light upon those I love!  For them to know the one true God would be my greatest joy.  But until that time I have peace in knowing that I can rest in my redeemer.  There is no hope, nor joy, that elates me more than knowing some day I will be with Him forever.  Nothing on this earth can satisfy that craving, or squelch that hope.  I can rest easy in my Savior, knowing that it is well with my soul.

  • Is there a promise or principle to remember?

In God alone will our souls find rest.  “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” – Psalm 62:1

  • Is there an example to follow or a command to obey?

King David is an excellent example of a man after God’s own heart.  He speaks of trust in God, gladness of heart, peace of mind, communion with God, and confidence that God is watching.

  • Are there attitudes that needed changing, or an error to avoid?

For me the error to avoid is lashing out in anger to those who do not know my Lord.  How can I blame them for what has not yet been revealed to them?  “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them..” – John 6:44

  • Does this make you want to pray for someone or yourself?

Oh Lord of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob… Lord of my life, and giver of salvation.. give me the unfailing love your Word describes for those in need of a Savior.  Show me how to love like you have loved me, and forgive me Lord for passing them by.

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