Summary: Even if terrifying trial would happen to us, as Christians, there are good things that we could expect from our Good God!
“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us. Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:1-8, NIV).
Have you experienced when rain was “running” after you? When I was still a little boy, six years or even younger than that, while I was playing with my friends on the road, we could see from a distance that the rain was already pouring down and it was heading to our direction. We tried to outrun it, but it finally caught us and just enjoyed the rain water as it soaked us.
However, there was also a time that it was not the rain that was running after me. Perhaps, I was also about of the same age, when I was being pursued by a dog. When the rain was drawing close to catch me, I was laughing with great delight. But, when I looked back and saw the dog was drawing close to bite me, I was crying out loud and so terrified.
You may not experience being pursued by the rain and got caught and got wet. You may not experience being chased by a dog. But, have you felt being pursued by a giant problem or difficulty?
What should a true believer do, if that would happen in his life? Also cry out loud and be terrified?
Actually, as Christians, even if terrifying trial would happen to us, there are good things that we could expect from our Good God. So, this time, let’s find out…WHAT WE COULD EXPECT FROM GOD… and that’s what we are going to focus on as we deal with our text (Psalm 4:1-8).
So, if we are suffering from great affliction or distress, especially if we feel that we are being pursued by a big problem or assaulted by many problems, what help could we receive from God? In our agony, is there anything good that we could be certain that would come from Him? If we feel that we are in a miserable situation, what could we expect from Him?
Before we find the answer, let’s realize that Psalm 4 is a continuation of Psalm 3. It was the prayer of David that was turned into a Psalm. He uttered those words, when he fled from Jerusalem, in order to avoid armed confrontation with his own son Absalom, who was trying to take the life of David in order to become the king.
When a messenger told David that Absalom gained many supporters, “… David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, ‘Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword.’ The king’s officials answered him, ‘Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses’” (2 Sam. 15:14-15).
So, David with his entire household and his faithful soldiers left Jerusalem. And as he went, he was weeping (verse 30).
While on his way, he also encountered Shimei, “a man from the same clan as Saul’s family,” who cursed him and threw stones at him and all his officials” (2 Sam. 16:15-13).
When he and the people arrived at their destination, David was aware that the army of Absalom could pursue them any time. At night, the words in Psalm 4 were among the thoughts in the mind of David.
And we could draw from it that whenever we suffer anguish, we could expect at least two good things from God. What are those?
First, EXPECT RELIEF (verses 1-5).
We read verses 1-5: “Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. ”