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Psalms 4

Psalms 4: 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!

Here we have the psalmist of David praying to the Lord, and reflecting on relief he's already been shown by God.

2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

A footnote tells us that "O men" can mean "men of rank," That means this is to the generals, elders and other people in power. Aren't these still the same questions ones were asking of our leadership in this current society? To follow after false easy answers from charismatic leaders is how our economic and political messes were started. His way, however, is set apart, for He is holy; and he still hears when we speak 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.

Here is one of the couple of times this idea is stated in the Bible: It is alright to have anger, but what you do with it is what makes your way clean or unclean. "Ponder in your beds" means roughly (at least to me) "sleep on it." And then to "Be silent" is to refrain from quick action. In my experience, if I don't take a step back when I'm upset I am more likely to say something I really didn't want to say, and you really can't take something back once it is said. While Jesus has made the sacrifices unnecessary (being the ultimate sacrifice), in such situations it is still best to trust in Lord rather than to blindly act out of anger. Anger is useful in some cases, it can motivate, it can correct; but it is a strong emotion and it can also be an open door to sin, as it was to Cain.

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.

The praises to God among the people bring more joy to Psalmist than a plentiful harvest; that is after all why we are all here -- to serve, honor and worship God.

8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (ESV)

True peace can only be found in the Prince of Peace, and he will bring safety to vulerable and sleep to the restless for all those who believe, obey and love the Lord.

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