Summary: We want to heal and respond like Christ when we are offended and hurt, but where do we start? Help from the Psalmist David after his son betrayed him and broke his heart.
* This Psalm was written by King David at the time when Absalom, his son, had taken over the capitol, Jerusalem, and David and those loyal to him were leaving.
* It was his sad recollection of the sad parade leaving the palace.
* It was in time of sad memories of his feelings of betrayal by one whom he loved.
* It was in light of the lies and painful things Absalom was saying.
* It is a good guide in our dealing with hurts, offenses and painful actions of others.
* We all get hurt. There are always misunderstandings.
* Sometimes, things are said that are painful to us.
* It is much more simple and easy to live like a Christian when you are not hurting.
* Really, our lives speak little to others about our Christian life when we are not offended.
* However, when we get hurt, when painful words are said, our response is the real test of whether Christ made a real difference in our lives.
* Theoretically, Christians should live with the pain of offenses different than those who have not tasted that Jesus Christ is good.
* Being in pain is the greatest test of the difference Jesus makes in our lives.
* God wants to teach us how to respond in life the right way, even when we are hurt.
* So much so, He came down to become a man to show us how to love in pain, respond in grace and “swear to our own hurt and not change” Psalms 15:4.
* Jesus showed us how, told us to do it, and empowers us to succeed.
* However, we all must grow up to that point because it is not easy, especially when your feelings are hurt.
Psa 4:1 To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. 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!
* This was a common plea for psalms because it was a common beginning for prayers.
* When you are offended or hurt, however, be assured that God is working.
* He is working on your life and in the life of the one who offended you.
* He will answer your prayer, your call, when you pray about the offense and the offender.
* He has and will act righteously in your life and the life of your offender.
* He has and will move in a way to give you relief from the pain and distress.
* He is gracious and He hears your prayers.
Psa 4:2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
* In David's prayer, he expresses his discomfort. Yes, it hurts.
Heart pain can be slower to heal than body pain.
* David's focus here, however, is on two things; those who hurt him and how long he will be suffering this offense.
* We often ask, oh how long will this hurt?
* Or, we ask, how many times will I have to endure this disrespectful treatment from this person?
* Peter asked this question in Matthew 18.
* “How many times should I forgive my brother? Seven times? (meaning completely)
Matthew 18:22 - “And Jesus said unto him, 'I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.'”
* Not just completely, but completely forever.
Psa 4:3 But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.
* “Selah”, the best we can tell, is a musical pause representing a change.
* Does anyone realize what the “King James, Seminary, Bible-scholar, theologically correct” word for “has set apart” is? “Has sanctified”.
* After the “Selah”, you can often recognize a shift: A shift in position, a shift in thought, a shift in attitude, a shift in focus, etc....
* In verse 2, the focus is on self and pain.
* In verse 3, after the “Selah”, the focus is on the sanctification process of God in our lives.
* Same subject (pain and offense), but different focus (from my hurt to what God is doing).
* God sanctifies His children. God allows offenses in our lives for our good, our purifying, our sanctification.
* It is not a matter of God not hearing our prayers, but God is going to continue to allow us to be hurt and offended until He accomplishes His purpose in our lives.
Psa 4:4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah.
* The Hebrew word “Ragaz”, Be angry, stand in awe, tremble (in fear or anger).