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FRAMEWORKS: Psalm 4: An Evening call to the Lord


For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.


[Preliminary Comment: Some suggest David is addressing his enemies but that word is absent. It is more a call to alertness how we respond to God. Yes, he is apparently in need [v.1] and yes, there is this challenge [v.2] to wrong beliefs and idolatry that he (God) sees in the land. Yet [v.3] he has the awareness of who he is – not one of those idolaters – he is God's faithful servant who the Lord hears when he cries out to Him as he has just done in v.1. So the challenges that come in v.4 and 5 are, presumably, to those who need to adjust their thinking, their beliefs, their actions, to ensure they have a right relationship with the Almighty One. In verse 6 he addresses the Lord, pointing out that there are those who question God's provision for them and so he simply asks that God will bless his leadership of his people to make them prosperous [something the Lord did through his son, Solomon – see 1 Kings 10]. In the final verse he simply declares his trust in the Lord who makes him secure [perhaps by His provision] and at peace.]


v.1 a cry to the Lord for relief


v.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.


v.2 The Lord's challenge to be faithful to Him


v.2  How long will you people turn my glory into shame
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

v.3 David's assurance of his own relationship with the Lord


v.3  Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.


v.4,5 His challenge to maintain a right relationship with the Lord


v.4  Tremble and do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
v.5  Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.


v.6,7 David asks the Lord to satisfy by provision


v.6  Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
v.7  Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.


v.8 He concludes with testimony: God keeps him safe.


v.8  In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.



[Additional Thoughts: This is sometimes known as an evening psalm because twice [v.4 & 8] there are references to sleep at night. It is thus a prayer that also includes testimony and declarations of commitment. He may pray in need [v.1] but he focuses that need on his own relationship with the Lord [v.3] which he contrasts with others who have gone astray from a faithful following of the Lord [v.2, 6a]. So within his prayer he addresses those people, calling them back to a right place [v.4 & 5]. He asks for God's blessing on him [v.7] but concludes with a statement of trust – he has peace because God provides for him.]



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