This afternoon I heard a somber observation...
Psalm 4 is about a tough time. Let's have a look at it.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him.
Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of Your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4 ESV
Psalm 4 is about a time when the nation of Israel was suffering from a very poor growing season. In those years, about 90% of the people farmed for a living. It is easy to understand how an economy so fully involved in agriculture could be devastated by a bad crop year.
The comparison to the troubles of today is undeniable. For a few weeks now, we have been threatened by the CoronaVirus. No one can say how much longer the threat will continue. The news is filled with reports about the virus spreading exponentially. Leaders are urging us to “shelter at home” and to take other precautions like social distancing.
Psalm 4 offers some wonderful guidance for our situation. The most essential point is in the first few words.
“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!”
David began with praise and with a plea for God’s continued grace.
At the time of the Psalm, David was confronted with mockers and complainers. He was opposed by folks who had turned away from God. In the midst of this, David worked to direct the people’s attention and devotion back to God.
Dear friends in Christ, we have the blessed opportunity to be a David in today’s time of challenge. Easy? Not at all! The good news is that we do not have to do this out of our own strength and will. The good news is that our Heavenly Father will always cause all things to come together for our good. We know this without any reservation. We know this because He sent His Son to deliver us, showing us love beyond expectation.
In every circumstance ... in every circumstance ... we can join with David:
“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Let us all pray for opportunities to share this news of peace.
Pastor Bob LeFavi
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