All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

Psalms 4

Designate, Research, Recognize, and Repair!

An Evening Prayer and Study Exercise!

A Psalm of David

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

2 How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The Lord
will hear when I call to Him.

4 Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord

6 There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7 You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord
, make me dwell in safety.

God of my righteousness: In the Hebrew, David is actually insisting “O my righteous God for me”. In all of this, David wishes us to know, without confusion, that God is not only Himself purely righteous, but He is also the Author of our own righteous dispositions. He is the giver of all good gifts – James 1:17.

Have Mercy on me: The worshipper of God (David, in this case) does not plead any merit or worthiness, but his entire request is based on God’s mercy toward him.

Sons of Men: In the Hebrew, “great men”; which indicates by context that these are wise men only according to the flesh (1 Corinthians 1:26), and due to their elevated opinions of themselves are Godless! They dishonor themselves and their Creator at the same time by their seeking false wisdom (vanity and falsehood). These stand as the image that David seeks to abstain from in his own life (see: 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)!

The Lord has set Apart: There will always be those who seek what is godly from the appropriate source (God Himself). By His revelation, He allows these to find Him, and the righteousness that tunes God’s ears to them. This is further commentated on in Verse 6; by the question and answer.

Be Angry and Sin Not: Here is the crux of the lesson. David not only makes these logical assertions, he gives us a process by which we can test the truth of the facts presented.

This test should become something that we practice daily.

Designate a time to meditate on God’s word as the source of the countenance of His light.

Research, God’s word to learn what sacrifices of righteousness He desires and to develop true trust in Him (Vs. 5).

Recognize, where the deficiencies in our lives truly exist in comparison to His instructed righteousness. In this case David uses “anger”; or the angst in the failure of the sons of men to show the proper “awe” for God in their lives. Whether this anger comes from within or by outside influences, David sees it as much more the character of the godless than the godly (so does the Apostle Paul as he quotes this to Christians – Ephesians 4:26; and James also expresses to Christians that the word of truth cannot be handled in wrath, nor will wrath produce the righteousness of God – James 1:19-20).

Repair the deficiency by the God given instruction and practice. David instructs communing within one’s heart. To set quietly and engage in the most serious consideration of one’s motivations which lead to actions. David practiced what he preaches here, laying in his bed and meditating on God’s word – Psalms 63:6. Likewise, the more we contemplate the Spirit of God’s revelation through Christ Jesus, we replace such worldly dispositions with the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23; which includes self-control).

Gladness and Peace: Everything in the Psalms is made more valuable by the true godly end result (Vs. 7-8).

Contrast between the vast majority of the sons of men, and those set aside to God with joyful gladness and satisfaction in harmony with their Creator cannot be stressed enough. Even those set apart to God must find the strength daily, because this world has great power in influence and temptation. Discipline is needed to meditate on the source that gives us strength in this life and can never be dismissed to limited occasion. If we wish to slumber in the sweet arms of peace with God, we must daily engage in this evening prayer and study exercise!!!