This week, we continue with the book of Psalms. Psalm 4 speaks of how we can call on God when we face trouble or insults, and He will bring us joy. Note that this does not necessarily mean that He will stop our trials from occurring. I don’t know about you, but my challenges with traumatic brain injury will continue in some way the rest of my life. You may or may not be facing medical challenges of your own. God will help you as you face your hardships day by day. This is a short psalm, but it’s packed with encouragment. Here we go…
Answer me when I call, God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer.
Verse 1 is a reminder that we can always call to him when we face trials.
You sons of man, how long will my honor be treated as an insult?
How long will you love what is worthless and strive for a lie? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly person for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.
The next couple of verses remind us that living a life that honors God is not an easy thing to do. It’s not popular and it calls us to walk against the current sometimes. Psalm 4 can be applied when we face situations like those described in Mark 13:9-13: “But be on your guard; for they will hand you over to the [courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations… And brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. And you will be hated by everyone because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” Psalm 4 continues with more advice for what to do when we face difficulties.
Tremble, and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the Lord.
The word “tremble” does not appear in the New Testament, although we are still called not to sin. Merriam Webster has a thorough definition, that includes “involuntary shaking.” You may be reminded of the passage in 1 Kings 19:11-13 where the Lord passes before Elijah. “So He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord was passing by! And a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake, a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’” Elijah certainly would likely have been shaking involuntarily…
The term, “righteousness,” is mentioned in a passage in Matthew 5 known as the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. Verse 6 states, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.” Psalm 4 continues by calling us to seek what is good in verses 6-8.
Many are saying, “Who will show us anything good?”
Lift up the light of Your face upon us, Lord!
You have put joy in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine are abundant.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For You alone, Lord, have me dwell in safety.
This chapter can be encouraging to read when you feel like you are facing insurmountable circumstances – a situation you just don’t feel like you can handle on your own. It’s a reminder that God is always there for us. He sees what you’re going through and you can always call out to Him.
This week at Faith Church, Pastor Greiner spoke on Psalms 42 & 43. You can see the sermon “The Path to Thanksgiving Goes Through Suffering” on Faith’s site with notes and audio here. The two psalms are closely related – I had not thought about them potentially having been written together prior to hearing this sermon.
On a different note, I finished I Alone Can Fix It by Carol Long and Philip Rucker on Sunday… It was kind of disappointing. I have pasted my review from Goodreads below.
I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This book is one that could put you to sleep. It’s very slow. The writers do provide extensive detail about the raid on January 6, 2020 and references, but I personally didn’t find it that engaging.
There is a spelling error on page 468 in a paragraph halfway down the page. “A little before 2:30, mayor muriel Bowser’s homeland security director launched an urgent conference call…” The first name “muriel” should have been capitalized.
I chose to rate this book at 2 stars because I felt it was a drag to read. Readers who are disgusted with former President Trump may like it and it may be worth reading for anyone who wants a detailed first person perspective on former President Trump’s final year. As I said, it is a very slow, lethargic read.
I alone Can Fix This
View all my reviews
Have a wonderful week!