265 – Psalm 4 – Verses five through eight

Book one of the Psalms includes Psalms one through forty-one and are Davidic. They were added to the official collection before King David’s death. As a reminder, the Psalms are not grouped in any specific way. They are simply numbered according to when they were added to the official collection.

Scholars have grouped the Psalms together according to common attributes so we end up with psalm categories like Historical, relational, imprecatory, penitential, messianic, and liturgical. Of course, some scholars create even more categories but these are the most recognizable ones. If we had to assign Psalm four to one of the above categories (which we do not) I think I would put it in with relational Psalms.

I know we covered verses three and four last time, but for the purposes of getting a running start at verses five through eight, I want to make one more observation in verse three. Here’s what it says:

Psalm 4:3 (LEB)

3 But know that Yahweh has set apart for himself the faithful one. Yahweh hears when I call to him.

David declares that Yahweh has (past tense) set apart for himself the faithful one, then seems to declare that he himself is a faithful one by saying God hears him when he calls. My ears pricked up when I saw the phrase “faithful one” and I wondered if that could be referring to Jesus. That would be cool, but the problem is the surrounding text (context, context, context) does not seem to support the idea.

The other issue is the word “one” is not in the original Hebrew. The text does not appear to be talking about a single individual but rather all individuals that can be considered faithful. I must also confess, however, that I don’t know Hebrew grammar, so I don’t know for sure. Compare the same verse in the New King James translation.

Psalm 4:3 (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.

Additionally, in the following few verses (4-6) David seems to be explaining to his audience how to be counted among those whom God reserves for Himself.

In Psalm 4:4 He commands them to be disturbed (angry in the NKJV), but don’t sin. Instead, he encourages them to mediate quietly on their beds. 

Psalm 4:4 (LEB)

4 Be disturbed but do not sin. Commune in your heart on your bed and be silent. Selah

Compare Psalm 77:6 (LEB)

6 I remember my song in the night. With my heart I meditate, and my spirit searches to understand.

In verse five David addresses the heart of the matter. Or maybe a better way to say it is he establishes the foundational truth for right relationship with Yahweh.

Psalm 4:5 (LEB)

5 Offer correct sacrifices, and ⌊trust in⌋ Yahweh.

You can read about incorrect sacrifices in Number chapter three, specifically, verse four, and also first Samuel chapter two (specifically verse twelve).

So one may ask, what are correct sacrifices? If we are to understand the examples laid out for us in God’s word, offering correct sacrifices is to offer what God has said to offer and to offer it the way He has said to do it.

The Old Testament sacrifices were of course foreshadowings of the one and only true sacrifice – Jesus the Christ. 

Look at the remaining verses.

Psalm 4:6-8 (LEB)

6 Many are saying, “Who will show us something good?” Lift up over us the light of your face, O Yahweh. 

7 You have put gladness in my heart more than ⌊when⌋ their grain and their wine abound. 

8 In peace I will lie down and sleep ⌊at once⌋, for you alone, O Yahweh, make me dwell safely.

If you’re going to see anything it will be because of an illuminating source, in this case, the face of Yahweh. Yahweh is the answer to the question, “who will show us something good”.

Verse seven demonstrates how God has been good and verse eight declares the effect it has on the faithful

God has from the beginning of creation made it clear He is relational. It is therefore unnatural and contrary to His will for mankind to break from fellowship with Him and hold Him at arm’s length, or even worse, ignore Him completely.

Believer, commune with God more regularly than you do – you will be blessed.

Unbeliever, enter into right relationship with God – you will be saved.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (LEB)

8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; 

9 it is not from works, so that no one can boast. 

10 For we are his creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.

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