12/20/2014

Peace Amidst Discouragment (Psalm 4)

Psalm 4:1-8, 7-8

"You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe" (Ps 4:7-8, NLT).

From Psalms we learn about the manifold emotional life of the psalmist, who is a believer and a person who has faith in God. So far, the following were considered:
  1. The Happy (Ps 1:2): A happy person knows how to live and what to think about (Ps 1:1-2).
  2. The Sovereign (Ps 2:6): The sovereign God rules despite the constant opposition from the rulers of the world (Ps 2:1-3).
  3. The Confident (Ps 3:6): People who pray are confident and fearless, even when the odds are heavily stacked against them.
In Psalm 4, we consider The Peaceful. We learn how the psalmist experienced peace and joy in the midst of different types of discouraging people. Consider this psalm in two parts:
I. Discouragements From People
  1. The Liars (2). The Bible encourages God's people to speak the truth (Eph 4:15; Zech 8:16). The devil is the father of lies (Jn 8:44). There should be no place whatsoever for deceit or dishonesty among God's people, nor any gossip or slander, which is both a lie and a deceit in that it is a skewed and biased perspective slanted against the person gossiped about without him or her knowing about it.
  2. The Angry (4). Though righteous anger and indignation may occasionally be justified, man's anger is all to often the result of lacking self-control and damaging toward others.
  3. The Despairing (6a). A despairing person invariably denies the goodness and the sovereignty of God by communicating fatalism and hopelessness.
II. Encouragements From God (which are the fruits of prayer):
  1. Relief (1).
  2. Knowing God's faithfulness (3).
  3. Trusting God (5).
  4. Experiencing God's favor (6b).
  5. Peace and joy (7-8).
References:
  1. Motyer, J Alec. The Psalms. New Bible Commentary. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1994.
  2. Kidner, Derek. Psalms 1 - 72: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1973.
  3. Zemek, George. Road Maps for the Psalms: Inductive Preaching Outlines Based on the Hebrew Text. Valencia, CA: The Master's Academy International, 2006. (Psalm 4: Rest in Peace.)
  4. Talking to God and Men. Study guide for Psalm 4 by David Guzik.