The Safety of the Faithful.
We may call this an ‘evening hymn’ being sung from the lips of David, for these eight verses show us David’s trust and plea before the Lord before retiring to sleep (see verse 8) in peace and safety before the Lord his God.
Psalm 3 and Psalm 4 accompany one another, for one is a morning prayer and the other an evening one. In this Psalm we can see David once again pleading past mercies as a basis for present favour. David then reviews his past and finds comfort once again in the arms of the Lord. Why? Because the one who has helped us in six troubles is not going to leave us in the seventh (cf. Job 5:19 ‘He shall deliver you in six troubles, yes, in seven no evil shall touch you.’)
This same though of safety is seen within Proverbs 24:16 – ‘For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.’ and in
Psalm 34:19 – ’Many are the affliction of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
Our safety and trust can therefore be placed in the Lord God Almighty for He will never cease to help us when we cry out or if we have a need. His manna will fall each new day until we cross the spiritual Jordan (cf. Exodus 16:15) for even death has no hold nor do the righteous ones fear it.
We can break this Psalm down into five main points of teaching that will inspire us and grow us as we learn from His word and the lives of others written of to let us see there is nothing new under the sun!
Body of Teaching:
1. SALVATION – verses 1 to 2.
A) Personal Salvation – verse 1.
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Once again David calls upon the Lord and no one else. He turns to the Lord to strengthen himself and for the Lord to uphold him in his integrity and virtue. These are the qualities of righteousness for the Lord himself is the Righteous One being totally Just and True.
David then speaks of how the Lord has relieved him in the distress he feels and this is what we experience ourselves as the anointing breaks the yoke of anything that comes against us or our emotions. This is truly the safety of the faithful ones who learn to cry out to God and learn to rest in Him.
B) Practical Salvation.
How long, O you sons of men, will you turn you’re my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah.
Here then is the heart of the matter and David under the anointing of God answers his own frustrated question! The unrighteous love worthless things of this world and they take pleasure within falsehood to gain the upper hand but this can and only will be for a season, be it short or throughout their life until they ultimately stand before the Judge of all! We are once again invited to pause and meditate through the word Selah.
2. SANCTIFICATION – verses 3 to 4.
A) Personal Godliness – verse 3.
But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.
Here is a statement of faith and biblical truth followed by an affirmation of David’s faith in that he knows God will listen to his prayer and song of trust.
Our sanctification is an on going process that is between us and the Lord but those around us will see our holiness of life.
B) Personal Goodness – verse 4.
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.
Our bed can be a good place to be still and to do business with God. He knows our thoughts and words and feelings. Our bed then is a place of comfort before sleeping in perfect peace before Him who never slumbers nor sleeps!
3. SACRIFICE – verse 5.
A) The Burnt Offering. (cf. Romans 12:1)
B) The Meal Offering. (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:23-26)
C) The Peace Offering. (cf. John 14:27)
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. The sin and trespass offering are not in view here, faith and trust and satisfaction are.
4. SONG – verses 6 to 7.
A) The Tragedy of a Joyless Life – verse 6
There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
Here we see the lack of faith and trust within those who do not know God fully. It truly is a tragedy of eternal proportions!
B) The Triumph of a Joyful Life – verse 7.
You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their wine and grain increased.
Now we see the opposite side of the coin. Here is faith proclaimed with an analogy of drink and food being unable to give real inner joy and satisfaction. It is the spiritual food that sustains throughout every season of our lives.
5. SECURITY – verse 8.
I will both lie down in peace and sleep. For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
What better affirmation of his faith can David give. We are at our most vulnerable when we sleep and yet David speaks of perfect peace and sheltered safety.
May we learn the lessons of life, to lie down in His presence saying goodnight Lord, thank you for the day and for tomorrow, and all my tomorrows Lord Jesus. Hallelujah!
Date : 30/11/-0001