How to Respond to Hatred – Psalm 4

How to Respond to Hatred – Psalm 4

Background

David wrote this Psalm. Some scholars believe Psalm 3 was written in the morning as David escaped Absalom, and that Psalm 4 was written that evening. This is why the Psalm is sometimes called “An Evening Psalm.” It appears to be written before David goes to sleep, and the content is very similar to Psalm 3. The song was written for the head of the temple choir. It was written to be sung by the musical accompaniment of stringed instruments. From this we can conclude that choirs, choir directors, and stringed instruments are all part of God’s worship. Like Psalm 3, Psalm 4 appears to be in a four verse hymn format.

Stanza 1 (4:1-2) Crying out to God when persecuted

David cries out for God to hear his prayer and deliver him like He has in the past. He is reminded of how God has been there for him, and he now calls upon God to come through for him again. He also acknowledges that God alone is righteous; David’s sin could be the reason he is being persecuted. He shows that his distress is caused by ungodly men. He calls upon these men to repent. They are making honorable things shameful and seeking vain things and lying.

Stanza 2 (4:3-4) Trust God in spite of what others say

David expresses confidence in God. God has not just heard his prayer; God will also take care of him. In light of this, David speaks to himself concerning his anger at those who are persecuting him. It is all in God’s hands so he needs to ensure that his anger does not lead him to sin. He must focus on God’s goodness, justice, and protection and not open his mouth in anger against his enemies.

Stanza 3 (4:5-6) Joy and peace in God

David now speaks of finding joy and peace in God. Some people will seek to use God and seek for temporal happiness in the things of this life. David is going to seek happiness in God alone. He is going to do what is right and trust in the Lord. His hope is in God’s favor not earthly things.

Stanza 4 (4:7-8) Happiness and peace because of God’s protection

David finds more happiness in God alone than his enemies find in financial prosperity. Because of his confidence in God, David can go to sleep in peace. He has no fears, because God is the one protecting him.

Application:

Will you humble yourself and acknowledge your sin against God and others?

Will you repent of lashing out at others in your anger?

Are you seeking to be satisfied in God alone?

Are you trusting in Jesus?

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