264 – Psalm 4 – Verses two through four
Have you ever had an “aha!” moment while reading the word of God? Well, I had one. I’ve always read Psalm 4:2 thinking there was a change of speaker from verse one. I knew that David was the one talking in verse one, but I assumed it was Yahweh suddenly speaking in verse two for two reasons. One, “O you sons of men” sounds like something Yahweh would say. Two, I assumed the presence of the words “my glory” must mean God was talking. But truth be told there is no indication in the text that there has been a speaker change between verses one and two.
Psalm 4:1-2 (NKJV)
1 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah
The Lexham English Bible translates verse two this way:
Psalm 4:2 (LEB)
2 O sons of man, how long will my honor be a disgrace? How long will you love vanity? How long will you seek lies? Selah
I find it interesting that David is directly addressing Yahweh in verse one, then very abruptly addresses men in verses two through five. He ends the Psalm by continuing to pray to God in verses six through eight.
Having said that, it is doubtful David had both parties on the line while he prayed and penned Psalm four. Practically speaking maybe it is more like he was pouring his heart out before God with how he was being poorly treated by others.
Alternatively, maybe David is addressing a group of men and shooting up short javelin-like prayers to God under his breath between admonishments to the men he is addressing.
There is a third option that I think is more tenable than the other two. Could it be that David had every intention of praying as he wrote Psalm four and knew full well these offenders (and others) would hear it played and sung? Probably.
I believe David is calling the sinner to repentance – becoming them to the truth. In verse one he says, “[Yahweh] Hear me when I call…” and in verse three David confidently proclaims “Yahweh will hear when I call to him”.
Look at the two verse pairing in verses three and four.
Psalm 4:3-4 (NKJV)
3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.
Isn’t that a beautiful truth? Yahweh (the LORD) has already, not will but has “set apart for Himself him who is godly …”
This verse makes clear that If we are godly, we are His! He has actually sanctified (it means set apart) us and called us His own! That’s why David could confidently proclaim that Yahweh would hear him when David called out to Him.
Look at verse four again. In my Bible, the word angry is footnoted and says “Literally: Tremble or be agitated”.
The Psalmist commands, “meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still”. What should one meditate upon? The thing that is causing you to tremble or be agitated about? Certainly not. Maybe meditate on the previous three verses? Maybe meditate on the previously stated truth that Yahweh sanctifies the godly. Maybe meditate on the fact that Yahweh hears the godly who call upon Him? In any case, don’t leave your bed until you are calm.
Contrary to public opinion God’s word is relevant to the modern-day man. What has you angry? Why are you trembling or agitated? Yahweh has supplied relief in His word for whatever it is that plagues you. Spend time in His Holy word today. Meditate upon His truths.
Look at this New Testament proclamation.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NKJV)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Yahweh is amazing! Awesome! Wonderful! Won’t you call on HIm and praise Him with me?