Today’s message summary of October 15, 2017 from Assistant Pastor Travis Jackson:
For the choir director: with stringed instruments. A Davidic psalm. Answer me when I call, God, who vindicates me. You freed me from affliction; be gracious to me and hear my prayer. How long, exalted men, will my honor be insulted? How long will you love what is worthless and pursue a lie? Selah. Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call to Him. Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah. Offer sacrifices in righteousness and trust in the Lord. Many are saying, “Who can show us anything good?” Look on us with favor, Lord. You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and new wine abound. I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, Lord, make me live in safety.
During our days, we often face emotional distress, and it can cause us to lose out on a good night of rest. Even I have had nights like this. Perhaps you have had these, as well. They may be relational or financial, and they may even be spiritual. There is no true rest unless there is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
David, in his prayers, is showing us a pattern to model where he was praying in the morning, throughout the day, and into the evening.
Be aware that Psalm 4 was relevant to David and his people, and it is relevant today. Psalm 4 shows that in our prayers, only God can provide to us long-lasting peace.
Verse 1 of Psalm 4 represents when David speaking to God. Verses 2-6 has him speaking to men and admonishing them, and the last two verses speak again to God in prayers for peace. He prayed with intensity, and his prayers were clear in petitioning God for answers. He prayed in such a way that he made sure that God heard him. He prayed with a burdened heart, and he experienced peace that would allow him to rest.
David understood that he was not delivered from his circumstances under his own merit or righteousness. He understood that he was being delivered because of God’s righteousness alone. Your own good deeds are worthless without the grace of God and your own obedience and faithfulness to Him.
David experiences relief when He is assured of God’s presence. God provides the relief.
In Psalm 3, there is a reference to David’s prayer to God for protection from his son, Absalom. He did not fear those who opposed him, but he, nonetheless, appealed to God for help in overcoming them. His admonishing of the people in Psalm 4 was directed to the people in a similar way. God is still the source of his protection and his mercy.
2 Samuel 16:5-14
When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached. He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on David’s right and left. Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed, you wicked man! The Lord has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you became king, and the Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you’re a man of bloodshed!”
Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and remove his head!”
The king replied, “Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the Lord told him, ‘Curse David!’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why did you do that?’” Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, “Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my life—how much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me; the Lord has told him to. Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei’s curses today.” So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed David, threw stones at him, and kicked up dust. Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.
David knew that he faced enemies and there was a public display of this contention. He knows that the opposition he experienced from Shimei was allowed by God in spite of his being anointed as the country’s future king. It was a reminder to David to seek the Lord for guidance in the midst of his affliction, and it is also a reminder to us to remain prayerful of those who may be going through a struggle, and to not pursue any condemnation.
Our posture towards those who speak falsehoods against us (Psalm 4:2), as it was for David, is to remain focused on Him as the righteous Judge and is the true mediator who separates those who trust in Him with those who have nothing to do with Him.
The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
Do you recognize that God knows you, as a distinct child of God, and that he hears your prayers? He does not want you to wallow in your own sin from unchecked anger (Psalm 4:4). He does give those who are opposed to you to repent from evil and do what is right and proper.
Absalom, David’s son, tried to appear to others as righteous when, in fact, he was using deceit to plot against David (2 Samuel 15:1-12). Even today, such behavior will not be viewed as honorable by God, and anything good accomplished in this way is nothing more than “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6).
You do not want a sacrifice, or I would give it;
you are not pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit.
You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.
David’s prayer in the final verses in Psalm 4 was a prayer for peace in spite of his enemies. This attitude is crucial within our Christian walk. There should be a joy in the heart of the believer that goes beyond the blessing one receives (Psalm 4:7). There is joy in your fellowship with the Lord. Nothing in this world will give you peace if has nothing to do with Jesus Christ (and certainly not worldly successes).
If you do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not have at this time, or in the future (the afterlife), any peace.
You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock!