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Friday, November 25, 2016

Refreshing Peace: A Psalm 4 Devotional

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8, NASB

God anointed David as His chosen king over Israel. Absalom, his son, in disobedience and rebellion, tried to usurp God’s chosen king. David fled from Jerusalem while many of his counselors and soldiers sided with Absalom. Through this frightful time, David could have feared and lost heart. Instead he provided a testimony and gave instruction.

In Psalm 4, his song and prayer to God, we hear David’s distress and his confidence in Jehovah. His confidence in God hearing his cries of distress are evident. David’s recognition that God is righteous and the source of his own righteousness shows he knows from whom his blessings come and who is all-powerful.

After addressing God in verse one, David spoke to all people, not just his pursuers. He taught that God sets apart the godly man, the person who seeks Him. David gave himself as example that God hears and responds to the person who seeks after Him, the person who is set apart for Him.

David explained how to be a godly person, one whom God sets apart. He gave six commands to people who want to be God’s child.

·         David said to tremble and be in awe of and fear God. This comes from recognizing who God is. Trembling is a physical reaction and an internal reaction to the mightiness and greatness of God.
·         He told the people not to sin, but to follow the LORD and His commands. To sin means to miss the mark. God created the world and established its morals of right and wrong. When we sin, we deliberately rebel against God and His commands, laws, and precepts. Sinning is desiring what you want more than what God wants. It is turning away from God.
·         David instructed people meditate in their heart about God and His Word. Meditation requires quiet and calm so he suggested being in bed (lying down) or the bed chamber. Jesus taught His disciples to pray in their closets, their quiet place.
·         Be still in mind, heart, and body to ponder on God. Let no distraction come between your inner self and your meditations on and with God. Being in a quiet place like a closet or bedroom aids in being still in body, mind, and heart.
·         Offer sacrifices of righteousness to God, which can only be done when that person is in right standing with God through His forgiveness of the person’s sin. Righteousness is more than following the laws God set in the Old Testament. It comes from God, the source of righteousness, by a person’s confession and repentance of sins and God’s removing the guilt of that sin from that person’s soul so no wall remains between him/her and God. The penalty of sin is death – permanent separation from God. God provided His Son to die our death penalty so we can be righteous and come into His presence – be His children. When we are righteous, we can be in the presence of God and offer sacrifices of righteousness.
·         Trust in the LORD. Be secure and have absolute confidence in the LORD for your safety. Though people can hurt and kill your body, nobody can destroy the soul of a child of God. Trust in the LORD brings boldness in faith knowing nothing can separate you from the LORD.

In God, David found his greatest blessing. For David, God was of greater worth than abundance of grain and new wine. Being in the presence of God, being made worthy by His righteousness, gave complete joy, contentment, and peace to David. Knowing and having this – a saving relationship with God – gave David perfect peace so he would rest from his worries and sleep, getting complete refreshment. He trusted God to guard him. He let down his own guard, which allowed him to get perfect refreshing rest because of the perfect peace that trust in God gives.

Do you have this perfect peace? Can you let down your guard knowing God is protecting you and providing for you a greater bounty than what the world and your striving can give? If you seek this kind of relationship with God, do what David taught.

·         Meditate on God.
·         Be still and know Him.
·         Tremble and know Him.
·         Receive His forgiveness and do not sin.
·         Offer sacrifices of righteousness.
·         Trust in the LORD.