Answer me when I cry out, O God of my righteousness.
Being in anguish, you gave me relief;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Children of men, how long will you turn my honor into infamy?
How long will you love vanity and seek lies? Selah
Know therefore that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
The Lord will hear when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin;
meditate in your hearts on your bed, and be silent. Selah
Offer righteous sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
Many say: Who will show us what is good?
Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord.
You have given joy to my heart,
greater than theirs in the time when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and also sleep,
because only you, O Lord, make me live in confidence.
Psalm 4 Commentary
The meaning of Psalm 4 is very interesting, it tells us about the confidence that is created with those thoughts that are encouraging, also with the warning thoughts and with the appealing thoughts.
What you will first notice in this Psalm is the overwriting that says:
To the main musician; about Neginot. Psalm of David.
This is the first time an instruction has appeared to the lead musician or music director. Remember that the Psalms are the lyrics of the hymns that the people of Israel sang. The word Neginot means stringed instruments. The music director was then to instruct the musicians to use their stringed instruments to accompany the singing of this psalm. We are also shown that David is the author of this psalm. Although not specifically stated, the content of the psalm suggests that it is related to the preceding psalm,
What we first notice in the Psalm is an announcement of victory.
Psalm 4: 1 says: “Answer me when I cry out, O God of my righteousness. When I was in distress, You made me expand; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.”
Upon entering God’s presence, David recognizes him as the God of his righteousness. This is an allusion to the fact that God cannot twist justice. Man is an expert in judging unjustly and David was living the consequence of this evil firsthand. What comfort David must have found in entrusting his cause to someone who cannot err in administering justice.
Then David announces his victory when he says: “When I was in anguish, you made me widen.” This phrase contains a great thought. Anguish has the ability to oppress the person. Anguish takes away space from the person. But notice what the psalmist says. When I was in anguish, instead of my space being reduced, rather my space has been increased. You made me widen.
God uses anguish, not to demolish us but to make us widen. Prosperity has a very temporary effect on the person, but adversity has a permanent effect on the person. Prosperity will never lead to growth and maturity. rather, my space has been increased. You made me widen. God uses anguish, not to demolish us but to make us widen. Prosperity has a very temporary effect on the person, but adversity has a permanent effect on the person. Prosperity will never lead to growth and maturity. rather, my space has been increased. You made me widen.
God uses anguish, not to demolish us but to make us widen. Prosperity has a very temporary effect on the person, but adversity has a permanent effect on the person. Prosperity will never lead to growth and maturity.
Carlos Spurgeon once said the following: “I am afraid that all the benefit that I have derived from my moments of happiness, comfort and abundance is not worth a penny. But the benefit that I have derived from my afflictions, my pain and my anguish it is worth an incalculable fortune. How much good the anvil and the hammer, the fire and the emery have not done me. Affliction is the best piece of furniture in my life. “
This is what David is talking about. Perhaps you are right now under the anvil and hammer of affliction. The reasons can be varied, but one thing is true, you are also able to feel expanded in the midst of affliction, just as David did. Don’t let the burden of grief crumble your life. Think that grief is for your good, it is for your benefit. For something is that the word of God says in James 1: 2 “My brothers, count it all joy when you find yourself in various trials.”
After his victory announcement, David proceeds to admonish the rebels, with the authority of a person who knows he has God on his side.
Psalm 4: 2-5 says: “Children of men, how long will you turn my honor into shame, love vanity, and seek falsehood? Know therefore that the Lord has chosen the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I a he will cry out. Tremble, and sin not; meditate in your hearts while in bed, and be silent. Offer up righteous sacrifices, and trust in the Lord. “
The admonition has in mind David’s adversaries, perhaps it was a reference to those who allied with Absalom to rebel against David. The idea is that they stop slandering against David, that they stop seeking what is vain, that they stop lying against the king. David felt empowered to admonish his adversaries in this way, because he had been chosen by Jehovah to be king, and Jehovah was attentive to his cry. When one is in total harmony with God, a sense of security is created to rebuke sin with authority.
David continues with his admonition to his adversaries saying, fear God to the point of trembling before him and surely that will make them desist from continuing to sin against him. Instead of rebelling against God and your king, rather go to your beds and meditate on what you are doing and keep quiet before God. Acknowledge your wickedness and offer righteous sacrifices to God, thus showing your trust in Jehovah.
This warning has been frontal and clear. David wasn’t beating around the bush. He did not think that sinners should not be spoken loudly lest they resent it. David was not there to please men with his message. He faced sin harshly. You and certainly I, we cannot remain calm when we see the injustice that man commits in his sin. Like David, you must be ready to admonish firmly. We cannot remain calm when we see the injustice that man commits in his sin. Like David, you must be ready to admonish firmly. We cannot remain calm when we see the injustice that man commits in his sin. Like David, you must be ready to admonish firmly.
After having admonished his adversaries, David ends the psalm with a praise to Jehovah.
Psalm 4: 6-8 says: “Many are those who say, Who will show us good? Lift up on us, O Jehovah, the light of your countenance. You have given my heart joy, greater than theirs when their abundance abounded. grain and its new wine. In peace I will lie down, and likewise I will sleep; for only you, Jehovah, make me live confidently. “
David cannot understand how many people cannot see the hand of God in the affairs of men. Many people wonder in despair: What is happening? Who will show us good? Is there any good in the world? David says, to people who think like this and lack understanding or are in spiritual darkness: Lord, shine them with the effulgent light of your glorious face, so that they can see that God has never lost control of what is happening in the world.
The proof that God is doing all the good in the world is that despite the problems David was having, his heart was nonetheless joyful. Can there be greater good than having a joyful heart in the midst of life’s difficulties? This was almost a miracle. The joy that David felt amid the fire of trial was so great that it was nowhere near the best of joys in the world. To put it in comprehensive terms, David says that the joy of his heart was greater than the joy that men experience when they have plenty of grain and new wine.
If David lived today, he would say that his joy in the midst of affliction is much greater than the joy that men have when they have all the health in the world, when they have all the money in the world, and when they have all the love in the world. . Isn’t that fantastic? This is how good God is to those who trust in him.
But maybe you will say: I am in affliction and I have prayed to God to bring me out of affliction and God does not answer my prayer and because of that, I sink deeper and deeper into my affliction. How can I experience that overflowing joy that David experienced?
It is all a matter of your attitude towards grief. If you view affliction as your enemy, or as the scourge of misfortune, or as bad luck, or as God’s punishment, then you are condemned to a miserable life. But if you change your attitude and like David, look at affliction as your ally, as God’s tool to mold your character, as the door to enlargement, then you will be able to experience that joy that David tells us about, and in due time, God Himself will take care of removing the motive for your affliction.
David was so content, so happy, so blissful in the midst of the fire of trial, that here again as in the previous psalm, the desire came to him to sleep peacefully.
His life was an oasis of peace in the middle of the desert of affliction. I’ll go to bed in peace, David said. And as he placed himself in the gentle arms of the Lord, he added: And I will also sleep, because only you, the Lord, make me live in confidence.
With that said, I imagine David closed his eyes and fell asleep soundly. But remember that David was most likely not in the comfort of his palace when he was saying the latter. Most likely, he was alone in the desert, fleeing from his own son who was looking for him to kill him. But in spite of everything, David rested peacefully, because he learned to cast his burden of worries on Jehovah.
I challenge you to follow David’s example. Believe me it works. I say it because I have experienced it. If it works with me, how much more with you.