By Faith McCray ~ Copy Desk Chief 

Photo Taken In The Friendship Circle at The University of Lynchburg Taken and Edited By Faith McCray.

Psalm 4 is a Psalm of David. 1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. 2 How long will you people turn my Glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? 3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. 5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. 6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. 7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. 

In v.1, David informs that he knows that God is his source of righteousness. He is also aware that God is righteous, and in response he can do no wrong. 

Christians have righteousness too. However, their righteousness is not of their own making. The righteousness comes from God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus died for all of the past, present, and future sins. We can put our trust in Jesus as our Savior, and God sees us as righteous (Phillipians 3:9; Ephesians 1:3-10). 

Christians can rest in the fact that God always does what is right. Whatever occurs in our lives is for our good and His Glory (James 1:2-4). 

David prays that God will answer his prayers. God has helped relieve him from his enemies, and ask for God to be gracious by answering his current prayer. 

V.2 is a flashback to Psalm 3: the rebellion against David’s rule by his own son, Absalom. David turns his attention to Absalom’s followers. 

He asked them how long they will love delusions, and how long they will seek false gods. 

These men did not want to follow David. This is because they allowed themselves to be deceived by Absalom. 

Absalom was able to trick many people into rejecting David, instead of supporting him as their King. 

Absalom told them that all they believed was “good and right,” but there was no king there to hear them. He claimed that if he were to judge everyone they would receive justice (2 Samuel 15:1-5). 

In v.3, David gives Absalom’s followers reassurance that God has set David apart, and that He would answer his prayers. The concept of being “set apart” is the essential meaning of terms such as holy and holiness. 

Absalom was not a godly man, he was someone that the Lord has chosen to be the King of Israel. While in contrast, David was both of those. He was godly and was the Lord’s chosen king. 

The concept of being ‘set apart’ is the essential meaning of terms such as holy and holiness. This is what He did with David. Which is somewhat similar to how the Lord makes a distinction between his people and unbelievers today. 

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:19, “The Lord knows those who are His” and “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 

Many people teach that vs. 4 and 5 offer counsel to Absalom’s men, who were David;s enemies. This is as vs. 2 and 3 are spoken to foes. 

However, many also teach that vs. 4 and 5 can apply to David’s followers. It can be read that David is addressing his own men since they are more likely to be in a good relationship with God. 

David advises believers and or the readers to “tremble, and do not sin.” 

Paul cites that this refers to the idea of anger. Psalm 4 is not about being out of control with anger. Anger itself is not a sin, but the intention and emotion of anger needs to be watched over carefully. Which is what David is recommending. 

David’s men count to let their anger get the best of them. However, righteous anger is not meant to lead us down the path of sin. 

Instead, David’s men are told to lie in bed,  think of their intentions and remain calm. The same can be said for Christians today. 

Bedtime is the perfect time to lay in bed and reflect on what God has done for you and how he has used you. 

You can also take that as a time to confess your sins for that day. This will ensure that you are calm when going to bed rather than tossing and turning and worrying about what happened during the day. 

If believers do trust in God, they do not need to be afraid of threatening circumstances or individuals (Psalm 27:1).   

David continues to tell his followers how to properly honor God in v.5

It is no doubt that David’s followers could not offer sacrifices to the Lord when they were away; however, they were able to when they returned to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:13-14). 

Absalom too offered sacrifices, but he did as a fake. (2 Samuel 15:12) He was aspiring toward his father, King David. However, God only accepts worship that is honored to Him “in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24

Today, believers do not offer animal sacrifices. Instead we can offer our lives to Christ. 

This is where we place our bodies under his authority and control (Romans 12:1), the sacrifice of giving (Phillipians 4:18), and the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). 

David inspires his men to place their confidence in the Lord. They had a great number of enemies (Psalm 3:1). Nevertheless, the Lord is all powerful, and he continues to reward those who trust in Him (Hebrews 11:6). 

V.6 informs us that many of David’s followers were growing tired of living in the wilderness (2 Samuel 15:13-14; Psalm 3:1). They wondered when they would see good come out of a difficult predicament. 

It is very easy to become distant from God during trials. Trials and persecution can disrupt a person’s faith, and they can turn away from Him. 

Romans 8:28 informs us that “all things God works for the good of those who love him.” 

Although David knew his followers were growing discouraged, Daivd prayed that the Lord would make His face shine upon them. 

If there is ever a feeling of discomfort, the best way to fight it is to pray about the situation. 

David expresses the amount of joy he has in v.7. However, joy is a confusing emotion. It does not always mean happiness nor is it the result of happy circumstances (Luke 6:22-23). 

David’s joy comes from a close relationship with God. He compares his joy to the feeling a farmer has when it is time to complete their harvest. They rejoice in having grain and wine. However, David explains that his joy can not compare to their’s.

Romans 14:17 describes that the Kingdom of God is a place of “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” 

The end to Psalm 4 explains that even after all the threats that David faced in his life, He enjoyed a close relationship with God. In doing so, he was able to get a good night’s rest. He knew that the Lord would keep him safe. 

1 Peter 5:7 mentions “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” That being said, confidence in the Lord serves as a powerful impact on the ability to sleep peacefully. 

Are you looking to become involved in the Christian community on campus? 

Delight Ministries weekly meeting is located in Schewel Hall in room 229. Cru and Campus Outreach meetings are both located in the Hornet Hive on the bottom floor of The Drysdale Student Center. Lynchburg Christian Fellowship meetings are located in the Spiritual Life Center. Catholic Campus Ministry Mass on Sunday is located in the Chapel and in the Spiritual Life Center on Wednesday. For more information on Young Adult Episcopalians, reach out to the Spiritual Life Center. 

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