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3/7/2016 pm Psalm 4

Psalm 4

A Psalm written in a time when something has gone wrong, and people are dissatisfied and turning to gods who offer the prospect of ‘more’

Maybe some sort of national calamity. Certainly seems to be connected with prosperity, but (reading between the lines) seems to be that people who have enough want their gods to deliver more. A very modern complaint.

1. What happens all the time? (vv1,2)

We look for gods that are more convenient. We look for gods that allow us to do what we want. ‘Turn God’s glory into shame’ – reverse the tougher bits of faith. Belief makes demands of us; it is unyielding and unchanging. But many people don’t want that kind of faith. They want faith that can be shaped for their pleasure. And the prevalence of these attitudes makes the people of God question the power and the presence of God. It’s hard to believe that God hears when people everywhere seem to get away with ignoring Him, and instead create god in their own image.

2. Who is the Psalmist speaking to? (vv3,4)

Our own response to the world in which we live. The Psalmist despairs of the world which is turning away, but he warns (with the hope that he will be heeded) those who are presently remaining faithful that they too are in danger. But God does answer the prayers of his people. Anger – leading to a rejection, a turning away. And especially ‘on our beds’ – when we reflect on the way the world is. The Psalmist has three recipes to respond: keep praying (v3); keep doing what is right; and keep trusting.

3. Is anybody listening? (v6)

This is why we keep going. Because there is a remnant, there are some who seek God. Who desire good, and who are searching for God.There are people there who want to know. The Psalmist even says ‘many’ who seek good, and who genuinely look for the face of God.

4. What makes it worthwhile? (vv7,8)

In faithful living; in answered prayer; in the salvation of seekers. That’s where true security and true peace and true fulfilment can be found. Not in wealth, not in pleasure. Life going well for us is no measure of peace.

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