Well… we’re a little behind on posting. While I’ve kept up with the reading, making time to sit down and post my thoughts has suffered a little bit as daily activity has increased a little bit.
As a number of you will know by now, we’re back in Canada. We kept our cards pretty close to our chest about coming home because we just really needed a rest, so for the first few days, we really didn’t move too much. Over the weekend, however, that changed as we visited with a few friends then had a church day on Sunday.
But let’s get back to Psalm 4…
Interested in knowing Why? this series on Psalms…
check out the 1st post.
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?
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.
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
My 3 Thoughts
- O God of my righteousness: When I first read that, it struck me as a bit odd… “God of my righteousness.” It sounds a bit pretentious. Especially in light of another verse of scripture, Isaiah 64.6 which says “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags”… in other words, when we compare our good deeds, with God’s holiness, there’s just no comparison. The difference is as night to day. So to even talk about “my righteousness” is a bit of a hard sell.
- However… when you read it as follows, it makes a bit more sense: “Hear me when I call on you, O God, through whom I may attain righteousness / in whom I have the hope of righteousness / through whom I may aspire to righteousness.”
- After all, what is righteousness? It is freedom from sin and imperfection. When we realize that “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (unrighteousness)” 1 John 1.7, all of a sudden that verse seems less pretentious.
- Be angry… BUT: … do not sin.
- One thing I’ve always loved about the psalms is their transparency. They show a clear picture of the fact that the life of a Christian is not unlike that of everyone else… we have troubles, frustrations, disappointments, and sometimes we get angry at situations – whether they be the consequences of our own flawed reasoning, or things that we experience ‘for no good reason or fault of our own.’
- David here encourages us to, even when we’re angry, avoid letting that anger give root to actions that are sinful. He wants us to avoid being in the wrong, even when the situation that causes our anger may not be because we’re in the wrong.
- Lifting up the light: Verse 6 is actually pretty common to what we hear in the world around us these days. “Is there ANY-thing good to talk about?” We hear so much bad news… is there any good news out there?
- The best response that David could give to that question is a prayer asking God to lift up the light of his countenance. When we see the Lord, his love, his blessing, his strength, his provision for our needs… that “light of his countenance” is enough to dispel the darkness that seemingly surrounds us.
Food for Thought…
Even to this day, I’m appreciative of the emotional transparency of the psalms. As someone who is deeply emotional, but who doesn’t always show it, it reminds me of just how much God is interested in our emotions.
Thanks for sharing some time together today!
If you’re not someone who typically spends time reading the Bible…
would you care to join me over the next couple of weeks?