Summary: Preaching through the Psalms

Psalm 4

I. Background:

1)Ps. 4 may have been written soon after Ps. 3 during the same period of time when David had fled from his son Absalom.

·We do not know this for sure though. (The title of Psalm 3 tells us when it was written Ps. 4 does not.) We will take the stance that Ps. 4 was written near the same time of Ps. 3 due to the indications we will discuss throughout the message.

a. Some things that may lead us to make this

connection are:

·David’s distress seems consistent with his distress in Ps. 3

·Many as they read psalm 4 see in it tones that would be present in the voice of a father who is disciplining his rebellious son and his friends.

·David’s honor is being assailed as it was in Ps. 3 although the physical danger and personal doubts no longer seem as present.

(In Ps. 3 David is in shock due to an unexpected revolt – led by his son. He is in physical danger. Emotional confusion. He also must do self-searching to see if this was a justified revolt – as he has been accused of being out of God’s will)

We cannot be 100 % sure that it was written at this time but there are definitely similar emotions present.

2)Style of Psalm 4:

It is a combination of styles.

It is on the one hand a Psalm of personal lament (mourning) and on the other hand also a psalm of confidence.

This is important to remember as we read Ps. 4 so that it is not thought to be a Psalm of repentance.


“It is not a Psalm of penitence, arising out of the recognition of sins committed; there are other psalms for that purpose rather a psalm which reflects the anguish of the innocent and oppressed, or of the righteous sufferer. And this it is a particularly important kind of psalm, for it addresses a fundamental human experience, the experience of injustice, suffering and oppression” P.C. Craigie

With the background in place lets read psalm 4


Psalm 4 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. 2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah 3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him. 4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD. 6 Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD. 7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

III. Looking at the verses.

1)David appeals to God for help. (V.s. 1)

“1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”

David’s godliness is seen lived out and we see once again how he won the title “a man after God’s own heart.”

Most of us when falsely accused and our reputation is assaulted are quick to snap back at our accuser or we may spread a worse lie about someone else to take the attention off of ourselves.

David does neither – He turns to God.

This is a pattern in David’s life that made him great. When His life was threatened he turned to God. When he sinned he turned to God. When He failed he turned to God. When He was confused he turned to God. Here David is falsely accused and his reputation is in jeopardy – he turns to God!


“God of my righteousness (V.s.1), deserves notice, since it is not used in any other part of Scripture. It means, Thou art the author, the witness, the maintainer, the judge, and the rewarder of my righteousness; to thee I appeal from the calumnies and harsh judgments of men. Herein is wisdom, let us imitate it and always take our suit, not to the petty courts of human opinion, but into the superior court, the King’s Bench of heaven” - Spurgeon

In the NT the Apostle Paul knew about great sufferings even as David did before him.

2 Cor 4:8-9 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

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