A PRAYER ON PSALM 4

FA-18 Hornet breaking sound barrier (7 July 1999). cloud caused by a sonic boom. (from here)

Psalm 4 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Safety of the Faithful

To the [a]Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
[b]Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the Lord has [c]set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord will hear when I call to Him.

Be[d] angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

At first this psalm seems simple, but is it? King David was a king. Yet much of his life he spent hounded and chased by other men, even those he had trusted, even one of his sons. So he prayed to God. He took his problems to Him and begged for His blessings.

With further study verse 2 appears to be ambiguous. Here is a portion of Gill’s exposition.

how long will ye turn my glory into shame? Meaning either God, who was his glory, Psalm 3:3; whom they reproached when they said there was no help for him in him; or his tongue, the instrument of praise, and the songs of praise he expressed by it, Psalm 7:8; which they jeered and scoffed at: or rather his royal glory and majesty, which they attempted to vail by casting him down from his excellency, by dethroning him, and setting up Absalom in his room. So the Jews endeavoured to turn the glory of Christ into shame, which lay in his being the only begotten of the Father; by denying his sonship, by condemning him to death; because he said he was the Son of God; and by mocking at him under that character on the cross; and also by their spitting upon, buffeting, and crucifying the Lord of glory; by reproaching his Gospel, ministers, and people; and by not acknowledging him as the Messiah, and submitting to his righteousness. (from here)

Depending upon the translation, the emphasis is either upon David’s reputation or the fact that God’s cares about him. Gill’s commentary puts the focus on the latter, speaking of David as a type that presaged the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Verse 3 confirms that David seeks to serve God, not himself.

What does this Psalm mean for us? Even though he was a king, David told those who would follow him to fear God, not Him. Now he tells us to be faithful to God.

Verse 4 also poses translation differences. Some use the phrase “be angry”. Others use the words “tremble” and “fear”. Some translations say to “stand in awe”. All tell us not to sin.  All tell us to exercise self control. To think about, to meditate upon, to commune with God. To be still before Him. This I think is prayer.

In prayer David remembered to offer his life, his heart, to God. In prayer David put his trust in God. In prayer David remembered that only God can bless us. In prayer David asked for our Lord to smile upon him. In prayer David remembered and thanked God.

It was in prayer that David obtained peace and rest from our Lord.

Isaiah 57:19-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 “I create the fruit of the lips:
Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,”
Says the Lord,
“And I will heal him.”
20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea,
When it cannot rest,
Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 There is no peace,”
Says my God, “for the wicked.”

9 thoughts on “A PRAYER ON PSALM 4

Add yours

  1. Anyone who ever read up on David has to admire his love of God.

    If you relate his Psalms, which were lamentations or entities for guidance at different times in his life, you will appreciate how he never lost faith in spite of his trials and tribulations he encountered in life.

    How he somehow managed to do so, this much I know, if he had a computer or TV, or cell phone as we have in our contemporary times to waste away the time in our lives,, I doubt he would have done what he accomplished, in my opinion.

    Regards and good will bloggin

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, it probably is considering our message audience is very limited in scope.

        However, it does stimulate constructive thought about different perspectives we share.
        And at my age, it may help my brain cells and atoms to hopefully not clog up from lack of stimuli.

        Then again there is always the possibility that one message may resonate with one person.

        If interested, check out this King Solomon advice.

        https://rudymartinka.com/2017/12/17/king-solomon-blogging-inspirational-posts/.

        Regards and good will blogging.

        Like

  2. And David is a wonderful example for us, in this respect as well. When political circumstances seem chaotic or out of control… when we find ourselves caught in the middle of a spiritual war in our country, we can remain at peace with our heavenly Father. And that is truly a comforting meditation. Thank you, Tom! God bless you greatly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many of us do find ourselves caught in the middle of a spiritual war in our country. There is not as much willingness to live and let live in this generation as there was in previous generations. Yet this generation considers itself soooo tolerant.

      Often I find myself praying our Lord still finds us more amusing than not, but I suppose it is more important that we pray that He strengthens us as He Peter did on that first Pentecost. We too are called upon to spread the Gospel with wisdom and courage.

      Thank you and may He bless you and yours!

      Like

  3. I like your definition of prayer here Tom, “To think about, to meditate upon, to commune with God. To be still before Him.” While it may not always bring immediate peace, prayer helps us to get in the habit of aligning our thoughts in alignment with God which brings great comfort.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @Tricia

      True. Everything happens in its own time.

      Psalm 4 was probably written by David during his flight from Absalom. He would have been getting on in years by then. He probably would have been about 55. My guess, given that he was in the midst of a civil war, is that David was not happy with what was going on around him, but he was at peace with God.

      Liked by 2 people

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