Psalm 4

To the Chief Musician on Neginoth,  A Psalm of David

1. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness:  thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress;  have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

2. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?  how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?   Selah.  

3. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:  the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

4  Stand in awe, and sin not:  commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.  Selah.  

5.  Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

6   There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?  LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

7   Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

8   I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

The commentary for this Psalm is taken from Warren W. Wiersbe’s Book, ‘BE Worshipful’

When you compare the wording in this psalm with Psalm 3, you cannot but draw the conclusion that they deal with the same situation in David’s life:  foes/distress (4:1/3:1), many/many (4:6/3:2), glory (4:2/3:3), call/answer (4:1/3:4), lie down/sleep (4:8/3:5).  Psalm 3 is a morning psalm (v. 5) and Psalm 4 an evening psalm (v. 8)  It’s a wonderful thing that David could turn this distressing experience into song, to the glory of God.  His example shows us what our responses ought to be in times of crisis.

     Look to the Lord (v. 1).  ”Hear me” is a passionate and concerned call that means “Answer me!”  David had been praying for God’s help and was desperate to receive an answer……Yes, David was being chastened because of his disobedience, but God had forgiven his sins.  God had called David to be king, and God alone could vindicate him.  God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve, and God in His mercy doesn’t give us what we do deserve.

   Confront the Enemy (vv. 2-3).  David wasn’t at the scene of the revolt, but he spoke out to those who turned against him and made Absalom king……when you follow vain things and believe falsehood, you can only go astray.  The people weren’t just deposing a king; they were fighting against the Lord Jehovah, who had placed David on the throne…..The rebels were actually following a false god when they listened to Absalom’s flattery and lying promises (2 Sam. 15:1-6).  David didn’t try to compromise with the rebels; he knew what they were, and he rejected them.

    Encourage Your Friends (vv. 4-5).  In these verses, David speaks to his own followers, some of whom were so overcome by their emotions that they were about to get out of hand.  David gave them six instructions, all of are useful to us today when we find ourselves getting angry.  (1) ‘ Tremble before the Lord’ (4a).  Believers who fear the Lord need not fear anything else……(2) ‘Don’t sin’ (4b).  Sinful anger leads to sinful words and deeds and even to murder……Paul quoted this verse in Eph. 4:26,,,,,,”Be angry and do not sin:  do not let the sun go down on your wrath”(NKJV), which reminds us that not all anger is sinful.  There is a holy anger against sin that ought to be in the heart of every believer (Mark 3:5), but we must be careful not to be guilty of unholy anger.  (3) ‘Search your own hearts’ (4c).  It’s easy to get angry at the sins of others and ignore our own sins (Matt. 7:1-5)……. (4) ‘Be still’ (4d)…..The honest searching of the heart should lead us to confess our sins to the Lord and claim His gracious forgiveness (1 John 1:9).  (5) ‘Offer right sacrifices’ (5a).  They couldn’t offer them there in the wilderness, but they could promise the Lord they would do so when they returned to Jerusalem……Absalom was offering insincere and hypocritical sacrifices to impress the people (2 Sam. 15:12), but God didn’t accept them. (See Ps. 50:14-15).  (6) ’Trust the Lord’ (5b)  Absalom was trusting his leadership, his army, his clever strategy and his popularity,,,,,but he wasn’t trusting the Lord……David knew that the spiritual condition of his people was far more important then their military skill, for the Lord gives victory to those who trust and obey.  

     Praise the Lord (vv.6-8).  David’s leaders reported to him what many of the people were saying, so he knew that there was discouragement in the ranks……David knew what kind of good he wanted:  the light of God’s smile upon him and his people.  To see the glorious face of God and know that He was well pleased would take care of everything……The king wanted to see the Lord change darkness into light, and that’s exactly what He did.  But not only did David’s darkness become light, but his discouragement was replaced by joy. (V.7)……Finally David praised God for the peace the Lord placed in his heart before the battle had been fought and won (v.8)……God had given him rest the night before, and now he would rest again knowing that God was his shield (3:3).  The Hebrew word for “peace”  (shalom) means much more than the absence of conflict.  It carries with it the ideas of adequacy for life, confidence, and fullness of life……This promise is even more meaningful when you recall that David’s name means “beloved”.

Under the section, ‘Encourage Your Friends’ (5) Offer right sacrifices, what does that mean in today’s time? What would be considered ‘right sacrifices’?


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