LEAVE IT WITH ME
Lord, thank You for Your kind attention to my plight.
Read PSALM 4
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
6 Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Do you feel out of place in this world, set apart for someone else’s purposes? That’s because you are. See verse 3.
Justified accusations are hard enough to take, but when they’re unjustified they cut deeply. In penning this psalm, David is reacting to people who turn his “glory into shame” (2; “groundless accusations” in the NLT), perhaps abuse from those he was battling in Psalm 3. David lacks the knowledge of a Savior who, when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate. However, David does the right thing by bringing the injustice to God in prayer and, as Jesus did, entrusting himself “to him who judges justly” (1 Pet. 2:23). Such is the godly way to deal with wrongful accusations. Seeking revenge is not an option for the follower of Jesus.
David asks for mercy. He doubts that he deserves all this abuse, but that does not move God to jump to attention. David still expresses dependence on God’s mercy. We are never in a position, given our brokenness, to demand something from God. We rely on his mercy, which is assured (3). Does that mean that we never fear, or that any fear is lack of faith? Of course, fear can lead to sinfulness, but not inevitably. Peter, for example, got out of the boat and walked to Jesus on the sea but began to sink. There was genuine fear. What did he do with his fear? Did he turn to despair? No, he turned fear into a cry to Jesus and found safety. Similarly, here we are encouraged to “tremble” but not sin (4a), to situate our hearts (4b) and to divert our effort to worship (5). Otherwise, it just keeps going around our brain. For David, prosperity and peace is found in knowing the Lord, not in a great reputation (6–8). His safety lies with the Lord, not with self-defense. Rest well.
How do you deal with worry, fear and criticism? What principles does this psalm provide to help you?
Lord, keep me in the knowledge that You are my sword and my shield, my offense and defense, the goal and purpose of my entire life.