Psalm 4: Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. 2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!” 7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. 8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.
Summary: We say a great deal of many things. But sometimes in our prayer lives, the words just won’t come. What stops you from praying? Here David speaks confidently. He speaks as if God will hear him. Prayer is an action done in trust. But sometimes we still need to question, and sometimes we need to be silent. David mentions times for them both. In this psalm, he seems to be questioning the actions and attitudes of fallen humanity (vv2,6) rather than God directly (cf. Ps 6:3, 10:1). And David had a great deal to question in his life, and he had plenty of reasons to be frustrated, but his trust in God remained.
Insight: Even when we are angry, we can remain faithful. There is a difference between righteous outcries and vain venting: think how often we take out our frustrations upon innocent and unwitting third-parties. We love vain words. When life gets difficult, or when we are being that difficult party, David suggestions is that we get quiet (v4). And during this moment of silence, we can then think about what we have said and will say… to God, as well as, to our fellow man. We always have cause to lift up our hearts; we needn’t wait until everything goes wrong, or until everything is going just right. Certainly, as we ponder this Easter Season, consider the full implications of Christ’s resurrection and ascension: Prayer is just one of our great privileges and responsibilities. It is an amazing and confident conversation done between the Creator of the Universe and His creatures who are now at peace with one another (v8).
Discussion: What is getting in the way of your conversations with God? How do we sincerely pray for those who hates us or have different views than us? (cf. Romans 12:14-21, Lk 23:34).
Thank you Father for the opportunities given to us,
Through sin and struggles, grant us the right words and hear our prayers
May our words glorify You, And May our words bring peace and gladness to others
In harmony with your Spirit’s leading and in Christ’s Name,