In our study of Psalm 4, we will look at how David cried out to the Lord while in worship and was given joy from the Lord. We should remember that he was still in worship even as he faced difficult circumstances. This song was written to be used with stringed instruments.
"Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer." NIV translation
As we see here, David wrote this during his struggles with the people. He called out to God first as he knew that God was right in everything that He allowed. This is a reminder for us to go to worship and prayer first instead of resorting to it after everything else we try fails. David also gets specific with God and asks for mercy and relief. There are those that frown on anyone praying to God on their own behalf but God, as the perfect Father, wants His children to ask Him for things that they want.
"How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah" NIV translation
David also sings out to God on behalf of His people that have gone astray. Today, many are in love with "delusions and seek false gods" as they try to have one foot in both worlds. Money, pleasure, homes, cars, and even family are just a few of the false gods that people chase after today. Do you cry out to God for those that you know are not following Jesus?
"Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him." NIV translation
You can almost here the anguish in his voice as David pleads for the people to understand that it is not man that they are against but God. This verse can provide comfort to us as we realize the truth that God has set us apart and He watches over us. A good example of this is found in the book of Esther.
"In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah" NIV translation
Anger is one of the tools that Satan uses to cause God's people to sin. That is why Paul, in Ephesians 4, urged us to put off all the bitterness. We can let all of that stuff go and listen to God in prayer. He will give us the ability to do this and replace these things with love.
"Offer right sacrifices and trust in the Lord." NIV translation
Although David is talking to the people of his day, the words are for us as well. That leads us to ask the question: What is a right sacrifice? We find the answer in Romans 12 where we are called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. That reminds us that we are to live each day for Christ and understand that He bought us and He owns us. Everything that we do should be for the glory of God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
"Many are asking, 'Who can show us any good?' Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord." NIV translation
God is good and the only things that are good are those that are found in Him. When God looks upon us and His light shines upon us, then we are truly blessed no matter what conditions are around us. When people around us ask this same question, we are to be prepared to tell them about Jesus because He is the answer.
"You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound." NIV translation
David continues to praise God as he reminds us of the fact that our joy is not based on our material wealth but in the fact that we are children of God. Today, it seems like people strive for more and more money, a bigger house, or a fancier car but many times those with the best of those things are the most unhappy. The things of this earth cannot satisfy the heart of a child of God but the daily walk with the Lord is a joy that cannot be bought.
"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." NIV translation
David can praise God because of the fact that he knows that his peace and safety are from the Lord. That same promise is for us as children of God. The joy of the Lord comes from knowing that God is all powerful, in control, and on our side because of Jesus Christ.