Psalm 4

Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies? Interlude

You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him. Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude

Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord. Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.

Last week we thought a little about those who misrepresent us and about how we find our true identity in God’s truth rather than the world’s words.  But what do we do with our attitude towards those who would rejoice in our destruction.  This Psalm seems to point us in the way of some answers.

  • Firstly, we keep on crying out to God for his mercy and his help.  I’m only too aware that I can only enjoy God’s mercy to me when I am merciful to others… (v.1)
  • Secondly, we acknowledge our hurt and anger but we don’t let them control us and lead us into sin.  Being angry isn’t wrong, acting out of the angry place often is. (v.4)
  • Thirdly, we continue to worship and trust the Lord. (v.5)
  • Fourthly, we choose to celebrate with those who are being blessed (even if it’s the ones that have wronged us).  The NIV version of v.7 says, “Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.”  Our God is a generous God and we reflect him when we are generous in spirit.

And when we do these things?  The Psalm might suggest that we will sleep peacefully… (v.8) and who doesn’t want that, right?

Questions for thought and discussion…

  • Which of the four points above do you find the most challenging?
  • How can we communicate these ideas to our young people?

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