Psalms 4

Listen to Psalms 4
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my 1righteousness! You have 2given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men,[a] how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after 3lies? Selah
3 But know that the LORD has 4set apart 5the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
4 6Be angry,[b] and do not sin; 7ponder in your own hearts 8on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer 9right sacrifices, and put your 10trust in the LORD.
6 There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? 11Lift up 12the light of your face upon us, O LORD!"
7 You have put 13more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both 14lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me 15dwell in safety.

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Psalms 4 Commentary

Chapter 4

The children of men proved, and the happiness of godly people. (1-5) God's favour is happiness. (6-8)

Verses 1-5 Hear me for thy mercy-sake, is our best plea. He who will not ask such blessings as pardon, and justifying righteousness, and eternal life, must perish for the want of them. Alas! that so many should make so fearful a choice. The psalmist warns against sin. Keep up holy reverence of the glory and majesty of God. You have a great deal to say to your hearts, they may be spoken with, let it not be unsaid. Examine them by serious self-reflection; let your thoughts fasten upon that which is good, and keep close to it. Consider your ways, and before you turn to sleep at night, examine your consciences with respect to what you have done in the day; particularly what you have done amiss, that you may repent of it. when you awake in the night, meditate upon God, and the things that belong to your peace. Upon a sick-bed, particularly, we should consider our ways. Be still. when you have asked conscience a question, be serious, be silent, wait for an answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence must be pan answer. Open not the mouth to excuse sin. All confidence only: therefore, after commanding the sacrifices of righteousness, the psalmist says, Put your trust in the Lord.

Verses 6-8 Wordly people inquire for good, not for the chief good; all they want is outward good, present good, partial good, good meat, good drink, a good trade, and a good estate; but what are all these worth? Any good will serve the turn of most men, but a gracious soul will not be put off so. Lord, let us have thy favour, and let us know that we have it, we desire no more; let us be satisfied of thy loving-kindness, and will be satisfied with it. Many inquire after happiness, but David had found it. When God puts grace in the heart, he puts gladness in the heart. Thus comforted, he pitied, but neither envied nor feared the most prosperous sinner. He commits all his affairs to God, and is prepared to welcome his holy will. But salvation is in Christ alone; where will those appear who despise him as their Mediator, and revile him in his disciples? May they stand in awe, and no longer sin against the only remedy.

Cross References 15

  • 1. Isaiah 54:17; Jeremiah 23:6
  • 2. See Job 36:16
  • 3. [Psalms 5:6]
  • 4. [Exodus 11:7]
  • 5. [Psalms 50:5]
  • 6. Cited Ephesians 4:26
  • 7. Psalms 77:6
  • 8. See Psalms 42:8
  • 9. Psalms 51:19; Deuteronomy 33:19
  • 10. Psalms 37:3; Psalms 62:8
  • 11. Numbers 6:26
  • 12. Psalms 89:15; [Psalms 31:16; Psalms 67:1; Psalms 80:3, 7, 19; Psalms 119:135]
  • 13. [Isaiah 9:3; Isaiah 16:10; Jeremiah 48:38]
  • 14. See Psalms 3:5
  • 15. Psalms 16:9; Leviticus 25:18, 19; Leviticus 26:5; Deuteronomy 33:28

Footnotes 2

Chapter Summary

Psalms 4 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.