Psalm 4

Scripture 

Psalm 4:6-8 

Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?”  Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord!  You have put gladness in my heart,  More than when their grain and new wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.

 

Observation-What does it say?  

As the title expresses, this is a Psalm of David, whom we know as a man after God’s heart.  This was written as a song for Israel’s worship services.  It was likely written in a time of chaos and confusion, when people were turning away from the promises of God and turning toward the “wisdom” of men and foreign gods.  They were asking “who will show us any good?”  and seeking for answers outside of scripture.  David expresses the strength and joy he has found in the Lord.  In Biblical language the heart is the center of our spirit, the place where our emotions, thoughts, courage and action are derived from.  David tells the audience he found more security in God than when food was abundant (in today’s language, we might say when the stock market is doing well).  His safety was derived from his obedience to God’s commandments and his faith in God’s goodness.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

“Is–is he a man?” asked Lucy.  “Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly.  “Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emporer-Beyon-the-Sea.  Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”  Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man.  Is he–quite safe?”… “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver.  “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King, I tell you.”

 

In “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, C.S. Lewis used a story geared towards children to express the same truths he saw in the Bible.  He drew from his experience of uncertainty during both the first and second World Wars, as well as the pain experienced by the death of his mother at an early age, while writing these stories.  He became one of the foremost lay theologians of the 20th century.  Through all of the pain and uncertainty he experienced during his lifetime, which included the Spanish Flu pandemic and the stock market crash of the 1930’s, Lewis clearly developed a deep trust in God’s goodness, evidenced by his writings.

 

There is a lot of talk now of “being safe.”  God never promised safety.  In fact, scripture gives us assurance that if we follow Christ we will most certainly not be safe.  Before sending out the twelve, Jesus warned them they would see a hard road and gave them the true meaning of discipleship.  Jesus said, “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops.  Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:26-31)  Jesus also told his followers that they were blessed when they saw persecution (Matthew 5:11-12).  As David expressed, we only find security in God, not in the “wisdom” of this world.

 

Life Application 

Jesus, help me to find security in you, even when the world attacks and persecutes your church.  When the world seeks to keep us from worshiping you, help me to face the scrutiny with boldness and courage.  It is only in you that I find my life, only in you can I move and breath and have my being.  In you I am a new creation, and if I don’t cry out, surely the rocks will.        

 
-Tyler Galloway