Monday, April 1, 2013

Psalm 4: Confidence in God

1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. 2 How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. 7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than in the season that their grain and wine increased. 8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

It was verse 2 that convicted me to blog my journaling through the psalms.  I can while away the hours doing some worthless things.  Even though we don't have TV the internet enters me into a time warp and I am not so sure what I have to show for it, maybe some yummy dinner ideas from Pinterest but my iphone has a word game that I like, and did I mention Facebook???  SIGH...

I am busy about a lot of things but I know I need to have more than just quiet time in the morning.  This gets me to meditate on the passage and think about what I want to say when I write here, how the psalm is teaching me and filling me with hope and truth.  It pushes my brain cells to put together some cohesive sentences (hopefully) and articulate myself to share what I am learning.

After the battle with Absalom this psalm bring us to quiet confidence in God.  This passage reflects the anguish of the innocent and oppressed.  It addressed a fundamental experience of injustice, suffering, and oppression.  David has been:
*falsely accused
*his reputation attacked
*envy pouring out from others
*others advancing themselves by stepping on/over him

That old adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me," is a LIE!!  Name calling does hurt and it leaves it's mark on our hearts.  We have to rise above it but how?  David illustrates it for us in our psalm today.
1.  His urgent plea to God for help.  Pray and seek God! (verse 1)
2.  There's a moving remonstrance addressed to the enemies-giving advice to help them and solve the difficulty (verse 2-5)

3.  David expresses his security in God and is blessed with a restful night of sleep.

The key point here is prayer.  When the psalmist prays everything changes.  He moves from anxiety because of his accusers to quiet trust in God: prayer is his therapy!  Instead of turning to friends for sympathy or even taking things into his own hands and retaliate David turned to God (verse 1).

With God we are not as likely to embellish our side of the story as we might with a friend.  We might not exaggerate or be overly dramatic either.  From a friend we look for validation, from God we seek solace, peace,  and answers.  Another advantage of turning to God with our troubles is there is no pretending.  David acknowledges his need for mercy, he is ever mindful of his own sin which helps to keep things in perspective.

I love the confidence of David when he talks with God.  "The Lord will hear when I call."  Sometimes when I am speaking with my kids I can see them glaze over not hearing me anymore, not true with God.  God does not glaze-over!!

When we are confused by the attacks thrust upon us go through the psalm's procedure.  In your thoughts remind your struggle, difficulty, or mountain that God will take care of you which will simaltaneously encourage you too.  Be sure that you are not sinning or  contemplating revenge, instead trust in the Lord.  Recall victories in your past.  One of my favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:9, "Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have see, and lest they depart from your heart..."
Reread God's word to prove again that He comes through and is always faithful.
-God shows his favor (vs6)
-God fills him with joy (vs7)
-God's peace is in the midst of turmoil (vs8)
If we leave our problems with God, He will shoulder them.  Matthew 11:30 "For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Sleep better knowing these truths.  Be confident that God will supply your every need.

Coram Deo,

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