For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
Many, Lord, are asking, ‘Who will bring us prosperity?’
Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,(Ps. 4:1-8 NIV)
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
Whatever God does will be righteous. Whatever distress is faced it is associated with the rebellion of those who turn away and seek false gods. A false god is anything we turn to instead of the righteous God. To turn to anything else is a delusion. Let us not be afraid to bring our distress to God, God will act righteously. The Psalmist experiences distress because he is human. He realises his need for mercy and longs to have his prayer heard. There is doubt and fear in his own heart, troubled within and troubled without as he watches people turn to false gods. Bringing this internal and external cause of his distress to God in prayer doesn’t change the circumstances but the Psalmist moves from lament to confidence. The Lord sets his people apart, in Christ we are faithful servants of God and God hears our prayers. We can be distressed to the point that we tremble, but the Psalmist says, yes tremble but do not sin. Before you sleep, search your heart and be silent. Silence those fears and offer the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips (Heb 13:15), offer our whole being as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. (Rom 12:1) and trust in the Lord. Many people doubt, but the Lord will turn His face towards us and do us good. Those who turn to false gods may celebrate by offering wine and grain, but as for those who turn to God, He fills our hearts with joy. In this confidence, we can lie down and sleep because we have peace with God. The peace of God mounts a guard over us, keeping our hearts, keeping our minds. The Lord alone can cause us to dwell in safety.
Lord help me to honest before you about my fears and distress but come quickly to my aid with mercy and turn my lament into confidence. May my fears subside. May I only turn to you. I trust in you my shield and my defender. Fill my heart with the joy of your salvation, and may the peace of God sustain me to the point where I can close out this day, knowing that your peace is my pillow, for you alone make me dwell in safety. In Christ’s name I pray.