Almost every country song has some kind of sad story line to it. Can you hear someone singing, “My ex cheated, somebody got drunk, it ain’t working out, it’s all over, and I’m gonna get you for that.” Those seem to be some crazy recurring song themes. How depressing! One thing about Christian music is that wile it may tell the story of a depressing or tragic situation, it offers the hope, peace, and strength that only come from Christ as well. That’s what we find here in Psalm 4. David turned his depressing experience from Psalm 3 into a song to give God glory in Psalm 4! This is the first Psalm to mention a worship leader and an accompaniment of music. When you can write a song of praise out of your situation where your family was trying to kill you, lots of your friends have abandoned you, lies have been told against you, and your kingship has been stolen, you know God has moved mightily!
David began Psalm 4 boldly by saying, “Answer me”. Some translations say, “Hear me’. David didn’t just need God’s ear, he needed His hand. I don’t think David was trying to convince God to pay attention here. David spoke of the times in the past the Lord had helped him. David is reminded all who would sing this psalm in worship that God not only hears prayers, but He answers them because that’s His reputation and character. What confidence David had when he prayed! What assurance it brings to be reminded of this truth as we worship through Psalm 4! In verses 2 and 3, David confronted those under his kingship who abandoned him because they believed the conspiracy Absalom invented. In verses 4 and 5, it seems he moved from confronting those against him to reminding those with him how to deal with the anger they faced with those they knew who had betrayed them. They had also betrayed God as He had anointed David as king (verse 3b). It looks as if David had confronted these issues in himself and was now helping others dealing with the same emotions. It is only as we deal with our emotions and feelings that we can help others with theirs! David encouraged them to do six things that those following Absalom were not doing: tremble before the Lord, don’t sin, search your hearts, be silent, offer right sacrifices, and trust the Lord. What a recipe for blessing! When we handle adversity in a righteous way, the result is praise to God and peace in our hearts and minds. Those who do not deal with things the Lord’s way will not prosper.
The last three verses show us the fruit of handling difficulty well. Who brings prosperity and blessing out of trouble? God does! So what if those against us have faces of anger, resentment, and evil toward us. Verse 6 says God’s face shines on those He loves. That means He is smiling down on us as we walk righteously through our situations with trust, hope, and faith! He is pleased! And that should be all we are concerned with. Verse 7 says David and his followers also got their joy back! Sometimes, your circumstances and circumventors can rob your joy! As Paul reminded us in Philippians 4:4, we must remember where our joy comes from – Jesus! Psalm 4 doesn’t seem to indicate David’s situation had changed just yet. The only thing that was different was David’s perspective from chapter 3. Not only had God shone upon him, David got his joy back, peace, and rest in the middle of his chaos. We don’t have to lose sleep over the worst of situations. Worry, anxiety, and fear are all enemies to the peace of God that truly surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Now we know why David was singing!
1. Have you been searching for the peace of God in the middle of your storm?
2. Does your joy, peace, or rest suffer the most in difficulties? Read again the steps to get them back in Psalm 4:4-5.
3. Can you praise God before your situation changes or do you need results first?
Lord, help me to trust you. You are my peace, joy, hope, and rest. You turn my mourning into dancing and put a new song in my mouth! I will praise you in the middle of the storm, not just when it calms down. You presence is all I need to calm the storm raging inside of me. Thank you for everything! You give me reason to sing!
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.