Psalms 4

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

1 [a]Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods[b][c]
3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
4 Tremble and[d] do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD.
6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.
8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell 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 19

  • 1. Psalms 13:3; Psalms 27:7; Psalms 69:16; Psalms 86:7; Psalms 102:2
  • 2. S Genesis 32:7; S Judges 2:15
  • 3. Psalms 30:10; Psalms 25:16
  • 4. Psalms 17:6; Psalms 54:2; Psalms 84:8; Psalms 88:2
  • 5. Exodus 16:7; 1 Samuel 4:21
  • 6. 2 Kings 19:26; Job 8:22; Psalms 35:26
  • 7. Judges 2:17; Psalms 31:6; Psalms 40:4; Jeremiah 13:25; Jeremiah 16:19; Amos 2:4
  • 8. Psalms 12:1; Psalms 30:4; Psalms 31:23; Psalms 79:2; Micah 7:2; 1 Timothy 4:7; 2 Peter 3:11
  • 9. Psalms 6:8; Micah 7:7
  • 10. Ephesians 4:26*
  • 11. Psalms 63:6; Daniel 2:28; Psalms 77:6
  • 12. Psalms 31:6; Psalms 115:9; Proverbs 3:5; Proverbs 28:26; Isaiah 26:4; John 14:1; Deuteronomy 33:19; Psalms 37:3
  • 13. Numbers 6:25
  • 14. Acts 14:17
  • 15. Isaiah 9:3; Isaiah 35:10; Isaiah 65:14,18
  • 16. S Genesis 27:28; S Deuteronomy 28:51
  • 17. S Leviticus 26:6; Psalms 3:5
  • 18. S Numbers 6:26; S Job 11:18
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 33:28; S Jeremiah 32:37; Leviticus 25:18

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. In Hebrew texts 4:1-8 is numbered 4:2-9.
  • [b]. Or "seek lies"
  • [c]. The Hebrew has "Selah" (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 4.
  • [d]. Or "In your anger" (see Septuagint)

Chapter Summary

Psalms 4 Commentaries

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