Psalm 4: God Responds to our Prayers
David asks for answers from God but we do not know the actual requests. We do know that he had been distressed and that God had given him space to recuperate. The Hebrew word contains the idea of being in pasture land, an open space. David’s distress may have been from Saul’s enmity. It may have been the hurt felt because he had to leave Michal and his family and hide in the wilderness. The wounds of rejection and dishonour can cut deeply into the soul.
Verse 2 and 3:
People can be so heartless in the face of other’s suffering. Many words can be spoken but they are only words. As with Job, David feels slighted and dishonoured by the comments made about him. He encourages himself with the knowledge that God looks after the souls of the faithful.
Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
David brings a warning to himself and everyone: we must avoid speaking too much when we are distressed. It is all too easy to become involved in bitter, sin-laden complaints and criticisms. These damage our own souls and do little to remedy the hurts. Far better to be silent and allow the quiet of night to be the time for reflection and prayer for clarity and comfort about all that seems wrong.
Daytime offers new opportunities to focus on God’s will, to present oneself as a living sacrifice and commit our ways to him.
Proverbs 3:5 & 6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Verse 6 and 7
In the midst of his distress and concern about empty words, David sees that there are many who do care and want to see some good in the world and in their lives. These are the ones who are looking for God’s light in their darkness. For David, this is a matter for rejoicing and celebration like that of harvest-time.
Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
David closes with God’s answer heard and received. He is able to let the hurts go and sleep properly knowing his soul is safe and he can rest in God’s love.