Psalm 4 (3 Truths)
Today we are going to look at 3 more truths of God that David talks about in Psalm 4.
2)Being set apart for God.
3)God hears us when we call out to Him.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
David has come to a point where he is recounting the faithfulness of God in the past. David says “You have given me relief when I was in distress.” He certainly had a long history of reliance on God. We would do well to remember the faithfulness of God, even in the times of distress. Distress comes in many different ways. Sometimes it is the result of others, even Christian brothers and sisters, but I find that many times the distress is the result of my own unbelief or disobedience.
This concept is certainly well known to the people of God throughout the ages.
As Moses was instructing the people of Israel he said this in Deuteronomy 7:9-10:
9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations, 10 and repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them.
Also in Deuteronomy 8:10-18:
10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.
11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
Moses knew something about human nature….when all is well with us, we tend to forget that Gods faithfulness brings us to this time of blessing.
In Psalm 33:4-5 the psalmist writes:
4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.
In 2 Timothy 2:11-13, Paul was telling Timothy that everything he (Paul) was enduring was for the elect so that they might obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus.
11 The saying is trustworthy, for:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
God is faithful and had come through for His people many times. We need to stop and take time to thank God for his faithfulness.
In verse 2 David seems to turn his attention to this who were dishonoring him:
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
One of the awesome benefits of serving God is our privilege of calling out to God in a time of distress or trouble. David knew that there was little he could do to stop someone from “turning his honor into shame” and “loving vain words and seeking after lies”.
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
David’s confidence was in his standing with God. It should bring us great comfort to know that we are set apart for God……we belong to Him…..and He hears when we call to Him.
In 1 Peter, the apostle Peter wrote to several groups of Christians that he called the elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia. Let’s get some quick background on the circumstances of that time.
This was a time when the Jews had turned up the heat on the Jewish converts. The unbelieving Jews asserted the Jewish Christian converts were twisting and perverting Judaism. The persecution was intense, with some of these Christians being killed for their faith. We read in Acts about the persecution that Paul went through, also Stephen being stoned to death. This hatred by the non believing Jews of the converted Christian Jews was also causing riots in the synagogues. This was a black eye to the Roman government because of all the unrest.
The Roman government was also not fond of these early Christians because they were showing more allegiance to Jesus and the church than to the Roman government. The early Christians were hated by the Jews and a nuisance to Roman government, so around 49 or 50 AD, Caesar Claudius had around 50,000 Jews and Christians sent to the new Roman colonies.
Listen to what Peter says in 1 Peter 1:
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Then in chapter 2 Peter tells them that God has laying a stone (Jesus) in Zion, and He, (Jesus) has become the cornerstone, but to some (non-believing Jews) this stone (Jesus), has become a stone of stumbling and a rock of of offense.
Then Peter hits them with this:
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people ; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Then in Chapter 3 Peter says this:
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Back to Psalm 4…..David says in verse 3 that God has set apart the godly for Himself, and David also said that the Lord hears when he (David) calls to him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Are there trials and distress in your life that tend to make you doubt the faithfulness of God?
Do you believe that you are one of the “set apart”?
Have you called out to God?