Knowing Christ in Psalm 4 (part 1 of 3)

In times of distress, I call on the Lord

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
      You have given me relief when I was in distress.
      Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
      How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
      the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry,and do not sin;
      ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
      and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
      Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
      than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
      for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:1-8

Psalm 4 begins, not with a demand, for David knows well that God is not required to answer any man. David begins with a passionate cry for help to the “God of my righteousness”, a name nowhere else used for God in the bible. He knows that God is the only One who is able to save him from his suffering, but he also knows that it is an extreme act of mercy that God would even listen. Despite his current circumstances, David is fully confident in his relationship with the Lord and doesn’t understand why someone would despise truth and seek out lies. He pleads with the lost to consider their ways. Here, David suggests that we take a second to feel the weight of what was just said…

Pause.
Reflect.

Selah.

He pleads with them to turn to the Lord. He pleads to the Lord on behalf of others who are suffering, those say “Who will us prosperity?” David’s plea for those suffering isn’t money and food, because he knows they are temporary.

He asks for the light of the face of God to shine on them.
He asks for unspeakable joy.
He asks for unshakable peace.

He asks for Jesus.

“O God, restore us And cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved.” Psalm 80:3

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

David knows that true prosperity isn’t found in anything this world can provide. It’s not money. It’s not food. It’s Salvation. It’s knowledge of the glory of God. And it’s only found in the face of Jesus Christ.

In times of stress and trial, do you call out to the Lord?
Do you ever take time to pause, reflect, and consider where you stand with Him?
Do the pleasures of this world rob you of His joy and peace?

Remember that Jesus is our prosperity. Let the world boast of their food and drink! My Jesus is Living Water and the Bread of Life (John 4:7-14; John 6:35)! Let us shout with David that we’d rather our hearts be filled with joy and peace than our stomachs with wine and grain!

“Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God.” Martin Luther

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