Psalm 4 Stand in Awe!
It is considered that Psalm 3 and Psalm 4 were written at the same time by King David referring to the rebellion of his son Absalom. King David faced opposition from the time he was a teenager. God anointed Him to be king while another king was still on the throne. David spent many years of his life just trying to stay alive – to not be killed by King Saul. Finally David became King of Israel, but even then he was surrounded by countries that wanted to destroy him and take over the nation. Through all of these troubles, David prayed to God and asked God to lead him and establish the nation. God blessed in all of this and David remembered how good God always was to him. He had made mistakes in his life, as we all do, and he confessed them to God and asked forgiveness. At the time of the writing of this psalm, David is an older man. He found himself taken completely by surprise at the danger he faced – his own son, Absalom, turned on him and was trying to kill him and take over the kingdom. David was not sure of who he could trust, his son and some of those that had been his friends had turned on him. The one person that David knew that he could trust and that he could depend on is the One to whom he called – “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness…”. He had learned throughout his life that God is faithful, always faithful, and he, as well as we, should walk close to Him and keep our eyes on Him! We will look at this psalm today in four divisions.
I. Turn to the Lord first! Psalm 4:1
David presented himself before God “Hear me when I call…” and submitted his petition and his prayer.
A. His petition was not based on who he was. For example “I am David, the King of Israel”
B. His petition was not based on what he was. “I am good and followed your will”.
C. His petition was based only on what God had done in David’s life. “O God of my righteousness…”
David knew very well that all of his own righteousness before the Lord are as the Prophet Isaiah declared “…But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…”. He came before the Holy God as a repentant sinner who had in faith trusted God and God had declared David righteous. God had given David, as he does each of us who have trusted Him by faith, the invitation to come to Him and find help in the time of trouble. God had done this in the past – “…thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…”. At times when David had no place to go, he was pushed into a corner, enclosed in a box, trapped in a small space with no place to God, God blessed him and enlarged him, made him bigger than the situation and gave him a way of escape. He believed that God would help him again and answer his prayer.
II. Tribulation and trouble will come from the world. Psalm 4:2
A. The accusations from the enemies. “…how long will ye turn my glory into shame?”
B. The actions of the enemies. They have placed things that are worthless (vanity) and empty of truth (leasing) above the Lord, His Word, and His will.
Live a life that will please God and see if those around you do not laugh at you, make jokes about you, call you names and tell others how foolish you are.
Just tell those that invite you to go and drink alcohol that you do not drink it because God says that it is not wise to do so – and you want to be wise.
Tell your friends that men should be men and women should be women. They should live to please God and not be ashamed.
Tell your friends that you believe in dressing modestly and that you are going to keep yourself pure before the Lord and only have a special relationship with the one that you marry.
Tell your friends that you do not lend your handphones, tablets, and laptops to the Devil for his use to corrupt your lives.
Peter warned us about what they would say –
1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:H
Human nature does not change, these people are still the same today. How was King David expecting to have the victory over the attack of the world? He told us that we should do the same thing that he was doing –
III. Trust in the Lord and obey Him. Psalm 4:3-5
A. The Delight of His majesty and power.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Isaiah 6:1-3 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
Stand in awe – to tremble, to shake, to quake
B. The Danger – becoming too comfortable in His presence. Get our eyes, our minds, our hearts on the creation instead of the Creator – we put ourselves in danger by getting on the wrong path.
Share illustration of the Grand Canyon in the USA.
When we keep our eyes on God and we behold Him in His perfections, we will both desire to do His will and also be too afraid not to submit to Him and obey Him, trust Him!
IV. Testimony of God is His goodness in our lives. Psalm 4:6-8
Consider another Psalm that David wrote as he had his attention on the Lord – Psalm 23
A. Contentment. His presence and guidance.
Psalm 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
B. Comfort. (need table and chair for illustration)
Psalm 23:4,5 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Just imagine Goodness and Mercy following close behind you!
The direction from God –
Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
And the protection by God – Mercy
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Stand up from your table prepared by God and walk away from your enemies with confidence in the Lord –
Walk with Moses, goodness directing him to trust God and mercy protecting him from the enemies behind!
Our prayer brings us to God with confidence because He has declared us righteous in Him and given the invitation to call upon Him. We come boldly, as David did, standing in Awe of God, and realizing His goodness is directing us and His mercy is giving time for His grace to operate in our lives. All of the goodness of God is based in the statement – Stand in Awe! Are your eyes on the Lord today or are they on the world? Do you delight in celebrity or do you delight in the Lord? Are you going to walk in the path of righteousness for His name’s sake this year or are you going to walk in the way of the world?
Will you give yourself to the Lord today?