David Prays To Be Heard
Answer me when I call to you,
O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people ruin my reputation?
How long will you make groundless accusations?
How long will you continue your lies? Interlude
You can be sure of this:
The Lord set apart the godly for himself.
The Lord will answer when I call to him.
Psalm 4:1-3 (NLT)
David wrote this psalm, as he was about to retire for the night. He could not do much about the war around him, but he could do something about the war within him. He did not want to lie in bed and worry, so he committed himself and his situation to the Lord.
Asking the Lord for help is still a good way to deal with inner turmoil. (Phil 4:6-7)
Don’t sin by letting anger control you.
Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude
Offer sacrifices in the right spirit,
and trust the Lord.
Psalm 4:4-5 (NLT)
He faced his anger honestly and gave it to the Lord (Eph. 4:26). Instead of lying in bed and thinking about your problems, meditate on the Lord and offer Him sacrifices of praise.
David said in Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” If people would take the time to be still and listen to their own hearts, they would not persist in their rebellion against God. The Lord is constantly speaking to us all about the evil we do. All the clamor of modern life drowns out the Lord’s still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12-13). It’s never God who doesn’t speak; it’s always we who don’t listen.
Encourage Your Friends
In these verses, David speaks to his own followers, some of whom were so overcome by their emotions that they were about to get out of hand. David gave them six instructions, all of which are useful to us today when we find ourselves getting angry.
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.
Psalm 4:4-5 (NASB)
1. Tremble With Fear
Believers who fear the Lord need not fear anything else.
2. Do Not Sin
Sinful anger leads to sinful words and deeds, and even to murder (Matt. 5:21-26). There is a holy anger against sin that ought to be in the heart of every believer (Mark 3:5), but we must be careful not to be guilty of unholy anger.
3. Search Your Own Hearts
It’s easy to get angry at the sins of others and ignore our own sins (Matt. 7:1-5). In fact, David himself was guilty of doing this (2 Sam. 12:1-7). Some translate this phrase “Speak to your own heart”. Instead of tossing and turning in bed because of the things others are doing, take inventory and see if there aren’t sins in your own heart that need to be confessed.
4. Be Still
The Amplified Bible translates this, “Be sorry for the things you say in your heart.” Another translation is “say so in your own heart,” that is, “Say to your own heart, Sin not.” The honest searching of the heart should lead us to confess our sins to the Lord and claim His gracious forgiveness (1 John 1:9).
5. Offer Right Sacrifices
They couldn’t offer them there in the wilderness, but they could promise the Lord they would do so when they returned to Jerusalem.
6. Trust The Lord
Absalom trusted his leadership, his army, his clever strategy, and his popularity with the people, but he didn’t trust the Lord. His plans were destined to fail.
David was not only a great king and military strategist, but he was also a loving shepherd who cared for his people and wanted them to walk with the Lord. David knew that the spiritual condition of his people was far more important than their military skill, for the Lord gives victory to those who trust and obey (Ps. 51:16-19).
Man’s Happiness Is In God’s Love
Many people say, “Who will show us better times?”
Let your face smile on us, Lord.
You have given me greater joy
than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.
Psalm 4:6-8 (NLT)
In the darkness, he saw the face of God and received light. In his sorrow, he discovered the gift of gladness. In the time of battle, he received peace. God did not immediately change the situation, but He did change David; He can do the same for you.
Worldly people inquire for good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, a good trade, and a good estate; but what are all these worth?
Many inquire after happiness, but David had found it. When God puts grace in the heart, he puts gladness in the heart.
Again, this psalm is about how the ungodly revile God and those who serve Him. However, David’s faith was in the Lord, so regardless of what the ungodly did, David was able to lie down in peace and sleep, confident that the Lord would protect him.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
The Lord has set me apart for Himself. He hears me when I call to Him and He is always ready to communicate with me.
When I burn with anger, I will not allow it to give birth to bitterness and sin. I direct my anger – it does not direct me.
When I lie down, I will listen for the voice of Holy Spirit. I will search my heart and be silent.
I continually offer the sacrifices of righteousness and forever put my trust in the Lord. When times are tough, I am tougher. When others see nothing good in their lives, I see everything good in mine. The Lord shines His face upon me and places gladness in my heart. My happiness increases in adversity even more than in times of increase, for I know the One in whom I believe and He has a double portion for me on the other side of the problem.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen.