Psalms 4

Text:

"1 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! 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?  How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Lexicon:

vs. 1 - relief (rachab) - "to be enlarged, to broaden, to make room, to deliver out of distress"

vs. 3 - set apart (palah) - "to be distinct, to be distinguished, to be marked out, to put a difference"

vs. 3 - hears (shama') - "to hear with attention or interest, to hear and answer"

vs. 4 - be angry (ragaz) - "to be moved, to be disturbed, to quiver with any violent emotions (especially anger or fear), to provoke, to irritate"

vs. 4 - sin (chata') - "to miss the mark, to miss the goal or path of right and duty, to incur guilt, to go wrong, to lose oneself, to wander from the way"

vs. 4 - be silent (damam) - "to be still, to wait, to be dumb, to stop, to rest, to stand still, to be brought to silence"

vs. 5  - put your trust (batach) - "to have confidence in, to be bold, to be secure, to feel safe, to be careless, to hie for refuge"

vs. 8 - in peace (shalowm) - "completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, security, health, prosperity, tranquility, contentment, quiet, friendship with God and others"

vs. 8 - lie down (shakab) - "to rest, to relax"

vs. 8 - sleep (yashen) - "to remain a long time, to fall asleep, to be sleeping"

vs. 8 - make me dwell (yashab) - "to abide, to remain, to sit down, to dwell, to inhabit"

vs. 8 - in safety (betach) - "security, with confident mind, without danger and fear, a place of refuge"

What does this reveal about God's character?

God is our protector.  He encamps around us and keeps us safe.  He fills us with His peace and quiets our fears. God hears and answers us when we cry out to Him.  When we are silent before Him, He speaks and responds.

Questions:

1) Do I believe that God hears me when I cry out to Him?  

2) In what areas or ways have I seen God hear and respond to my prayers?  

3) Do I wait silently for the salvation of the Lord?  I love how the word damam also means "to stand still."  It's implying that we are not sitting idly by, but are embracing an active position of trust in God.  We stand, ready to move when He says move, ready to go where He sends, ready to do as He says.  

4) When I am in distress, do I hasten to Jesus?  Or is He maybe the 4th or 5th person I run to when I'm overwhelmed or in trouble?  To put our trust in God (batach) literally means "to hasten for refuge."  Am I quick to run to Jesus or do I saunter to Him?

5) Do I dwell in the peace of God?  As Christians, we have the peace of God living in us in the person of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6, John 14:27), but are we abiding in and living out of that peace?  Just because we have purchased a car doesn't mean we will be magically transported to where we need to go.  No, we have to get in and drive the car to get where we need to go.  We will never experience the intended benefits of the car until we use it to access those benefits promised.

Prayer:

Father God, thank you for your protection that guards and keeps me.  I know that you see and hear me, and that you respond when I cry out to you.  Father, continue to teach me how to be still before you.  How to actively trust you with my life, while remaining ready to do as you say.  Mold my heart to be like you and bind my heart to yours.  Forgive me when I run to others instead of or before you.  Prompt and prod my heart to hasten to your throne.  Father, I ask the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and logic to fill my heart and mind, to overflow onto those around me, and to rest on me in every and all situations. Let your peace transform my thinking and renew my mind.  Teach me how to draw from and dwell on this peace.  Teach me how to live and walk out the peace you promise me in your Word.  Thank you for your Word that guides my steps and illuminates my path. "I love [you], Lord, because [you] have heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because [you] have inclined your ear to me, therefore I will call on [you] as long as I live" (Psalms 116:1-2). In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!