Psalm 4

Dan Howard   -  

You’re getting something different today. This week escaped me, and Charlie saw I was underwater and offered to help a brother out. Thank you Charlie! Now, we peak into his mind and get his thoughts on Psalm 4.

Have a great weekend!


A Personal Reflection of Psalm 4
“Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds and be silent. Offer right
sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 4: 4-5 ESV

How often do we let our pet sins get the better of us? Often enough, we find it to be easy or
even natural to commit the very same things that the psalmist here is condemning, for only a
few verses earlier he says,
“O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and
seek after lies?” (verse 2)
How often do we do that? In the vanity of our speech we speak ill of others and say things we
shouldn’t say. Other times we satisfy ourselves with lies, saying in our hearts that what we are
doing might not be “that bad”, or not bad at all. How often do we forget that God is righteous,
and that we will have to give an account to Him for every word we have ever said and every
action we have ever taken? If God weren’t so gracious to us, then we wouldn’t pass muster on
our best day, let alone judgment day. But the psalmist goes on.
“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace
I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” (verses 7-8)
God has put more joy in the heart of David, the psalmist, than they (those whom he condemns)
have when their grain and wine are plentiful. Such peace is not exclusive to the psalmist
however, but is something God offers to all His children. Trust in the Lord, which comes from
the converted heart, reaps a harvest of joy and peace not a magnitude of tens or hundreds or
even thousands of times more than those who are unconverted and find joy in earthly or evil
things, but a magnitude that is innumerable and eternal. This coincides with the psalmist’s
words when he says,
“But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.”
(verse 3)
God has set aside those who trust in Him for Himself, for both His own good pleasure and for
our joy (for there will not be a single soul in heaven who didn’t want to be there to begin with).
When we put away the pursuit of wicked things and seek our comfort in those things which
bring us closer to God such as prayer, the sacraments, and the reading and hearing of His Word,
we will find that resisting and fighting our wickedness becomes a matter of desire and not so
much as one of duty. It is as the great theologian of the Lutheran Reformation, Phillip
Melanchthon, said regarding this psalm,

“Rule over your sorrow and bend your mind so that you may willingly be obedient to God in
your anguish.”
We should be angry (or as some other translations render it, “tremble”), but seek to not sin. We
must ponder in our hearts and be silent, putting our trust in the Lord in the midst of all things
that assail us, even our own wicked hearts. For in doing so, we will find a joy and a peace that
this world cannot give.

Christ’s Peace brothers and sisters.