Read Psalm 4
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. 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.
Have you ever considered what it would be like to be mindful of God with every breath? So often we’re mindful of Him for a few moments but then our thoughts drift and we forget about God. Maybe a phone call or text distracts you, or in the midst of your prayers, you start getting anxious about a work meeting or a struggle with your spouse or friend. We start off with the best of intentions but our mind and heart quickly drift to the worries and concerns of the world.
In Psalm 4, King David describes a life that is constantly focused on God. In his rest, in his day to day decisions, in his sleep at night, and everywhere in between, the Psalmist remains focused on the Lord. He’s in constant communication with God, and he’s not afraid of being honest with the Lord about his worries and concerns. With honesty and courage he seeks the Lord’s help in trouble and asks the Lord to fill him with joy. Because of his intimate relationship with God, the Psalmist is confident God hears him when he calls out (v.3).
In his book Respectable Sins, Jerry Bridges describes the sin of ungodliness where we live life as though God doesn’t exist. We may know the gospel and be saved, but we don’t live life in a dependent, mindful posture. We go about our daily lives in our own power and strength and we don’t acknowledge our need for the Lord. In Psalm 4, David shows us what it’s like to live a godly life in constant communication with and mindfulness of the Lord. The result of David’s mindfulness is peace and safety. We would all benefit from a Psalm 4 type of life.
- How can you be more mindful of God today?
- When your mind and heart drift away from God, what’s something you can do to call you back to the Lord?
- When you experience trouble, where do you first turn: to others or to the Lord?
Did You Know?
Psalm 4 is sometimes categorized as a psalm of trust, where the Psalmist expresses his confidence in the Lord. See also Psalm 16, 23, 27, 62, and 73 for other Psalms of confidence. While we don’t know the specific cause of trouble, we do see a confident trust and hope in God.
3 thoughts on “Psalm 4”
I picture David writing this Psalm as he’s trying to fall asleep at the end of a challenging day. He brings his honest thoughts to the place where he is confident of help, the Lord who hears his cries, is gracious, has freed him from affliction and vindicated him. In verse 4 David knows that anger cannot supersede his trust in God, but continuing to live righteously and have complete trust in God will bring joy and peaceful sleep. Many times when anxious thoughts have disturbed my sleep I have leaned into this verse. The Lord has set apart the faithful and hears when we call out to him. What comfort!
I know that when my mind drifts away from God when the tv is on. I can help my mind stay on God by keeping Christian music on while I am doing housework or artistic projects.
I knew yesterday in answering question #3 that I had much room for improvement. A bigger picture of how much improvement was revealed to me by the evening. The evidence of just applying prayer to situations, seeing my complete reliance on Him and following through with seeking Him in the troubles and stress was a good lesson learned on Tuesday. Today is a new opportunity for me to trust Him and seek his will for me.