Calm Assurance in Stressful Times
Pastor Ron Johnson
Psalm 4 has been called "____ _____________ _____" and is a _________ _______________ prayer to God that appears to be (as we'll see in v 8) penned at the end of a long, stressful day.
Psalm 4 appears to have some sort of connection to Psalm 3 which features several very similar phrases. For example in v 4 of Psalm 3, we have the psalmist calling on God to answer and he does the same here in v 1 of Psalm 4. In Psalm 3:5 he speaks of lying down and sleeping and we'll see today he does so again in 4:8. David speaks of many being against him in v 2 of Psalm 3 and expresses the same idea in v 6 of Psalm 4.
Psalm 4 Answer Me When I Call
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.
A Psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
David's cry to God here is neither _________ or __________, it's actually a heartfelt recognition that he's in need of God’s _________ because he's in a ________ spot.
If you could see this phrase ( v 1) that the ESV renders "you have given me relief" in the Hebrew text you'd discover that David quite literally says, “you have given me ___________.”
He actually begins to rehearse in his mind while in this tight spot that God has been merciful to Him in similar occasions in the past and it ____________ him.
David pauses for a moment to ___________ these men in vv 2-3 for their ungodly opposition.
So it appears these men were seeking to tear him down, slandering him and attempting to undermine his leadership and more.
In His incredible commentary on the Psalms, Steve Lawson writes about these verses and says "Why should they persist in their opposition against him whom God had chosen? To oppose David was to oppose God who had sovereignly elected him and set him apart. Thus he had deep assurance that the Lord would hear when he called to him. David knew he would be safe because the Lord would remember his servant and hear his pleas."
It appears David has those who are opposing him in mind and in a manner that's consistent with the cry of a man after God's own heart. David's desire is that even those who are making his life miserable would ________.
After asking for God’s help, He begs those antagonizing him to turn to the Lord and finally, he finds ______.
Brothers and sisters at EVC don't miss this... God didn't immediately change David's circumstances, but He did change _________.
With a __________ God who __________ when he _______ on his side... with a God who has given him room to breathe in past times of difficulty in his corner.... David could ____ _______ ___ _______ with a _______ _____________ that he was in God's hands.
Prompts for Personal Reflection / Application
Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
Praying Psalm 4
(as suggested by Dr. Bill Barrick)
V 1) Lord, thank you for being gracious to me and answering my prayer.
V 4) Fill my mind and heart with your Word when I am going to sleep.
V 7) Increase the gladness in my heart for all the good you’ve given to me.
V 8) Let me be assured of the security I have in You, O God.