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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 4

 

 

Verses 1-6

Psalms 4:1. Hear me, when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Past experience is a sweet solace in the hour of trouble. “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” Think of what God has been to you, you tried ones, for he will be the same still. And can he have taught you to trust in his name, And thus far have brought you to put you to shame? Is this God’s way — to be gracious to his people, and then to turn against them? God forbid. Pray, then, with the grateful memory of all his loving-kindness. “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. Have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”

Psalms 4:2. O ye sons of men, how, long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

How long will ye take to lies? How long will you abuse a character which deserves not your censure? How long will you pour contempt upon God, whom you ought to serve? But know He talks to them as if they did not know, while they thought themselves the most knowing people in the world.

Psalms 4:3. That the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:

He has marked him out to be his own peculiar treasure. “The Lord’s portion is his people. Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” Now if God has marked out his people to be his own, he will defend them. He will guard them against every adversary. They shall not be destroyed.

Psalms 4:3. The LORD will hear when I call unto him.

The sweet assurance that prayer will prevail is one of the best comforts in the cloudy and dark day.

Psalms 4:4. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

Tremble and sin not. Unhappily, there are many that sin and tremble not. They reverse the text. A trembling saint is often all the more saint because he trembles. Tremble and sin not. If there is not a mixture of prayer with our hope and our confidence, it is like meat without salt in it. It is apt to grow corrupt in prosperous sunny weather. Oh! for the fear of God in our hearts! Stand in awe, and sin not. Commune with your own heart. A man ought to be the best of company to himself. It is one reason why we should be well acquainted with the Word of God — that if ever we are left alone, we may be good companions to ourselves. “Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.” Hush that babel. Let God speak. Get to your bed, away from the noise of the streets and the roll of the traffic. “Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.” Some men cannot bear stillness. The quiet of their own hearts disturbs them. There must be something very rotten in the state of the man’s life who loves not some seasons of solitude. Some of us are less alone when we are alone, and most at home even when others count themselves abroad. “Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.”

Psalms 4:5. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,

Bring your prayers, your praises. Present to God your hearts, your love, your trust.

Psalms 4:5-6. And put your trust in the LORD. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?

Gaping about for some good thing; thirsting — they know not what they are thirsting for. “Who will show us any good?” Come from the east, or the west, or the north, or the south; only bring us something that promises pleasure, and we are your men. There be many that say, “Who will show us any good?” But we say not so. Our saying is another sort.

Psalms 4:6. LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

Is not that what many of you are saying tonight? You know what you want. You know that there is nothing else that will satisfy you. “Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.” We are not well. Lord, we ask thee that it may be well between our souls and thee.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 3 and Psalms 4:1-6.


Verses 1-8

Psalms 4:1. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

Good men want to be heard when they pray, they are not satisfied with merely praying, they must have God’s answers to their supplications. See how David pleads the past mercy received from God: “ Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress.” Cannot my own heart look back to God’s lovingkindness to me in days gone by .’ Oh, yes! Then, as he is the same God, what he has done in the past is an argument for what he will do in the future. There are some of us here who can adopt the psalmist’s language, and say, “Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.”

Psalms 4:2. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?

How long will you slander me, how long will you slander God, how long will you turn the gospel into ridicule, how long will you resist the Spirit of God?

Psalms 4:2. How long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing?

That is, after falsehood, after lying? Why do men seek after falsehood?

What attraction can it have for them? Why, only this attraction, that it suits a fool’s heart to feed on falsehood.

Psalms 4:3. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself:

You cannot hurt him, for God has hedged him about. You may say what you please against him, but God loves him, and will take care of him.

Psalms 4:3. The LORD will hear when I call unto him.

What a sweet assurance! O brethren, the mercy-seat is always open to us! It will be a blessed thing if every one of us can say, with David, “The Lord will hear when I call unto him.”

Psalms 4:4. Stand in awe, and sin not:

This is good advice to ungodly men; let them feel aright the awe of God presence, and they must turn from sin. Holy reverence is a great preservative from sin.

Psalms 4:4. Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

Hold private communion with yourself, in a private place, at a private hour. “Be still.” We are far too noisy, most of us talk too much. It would often make men wiser if they were stiller. If a still tongue does not make a wise head, yet it tends that way.

Psalms 4:6. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

This is a capital rule for the whole of life. Serve God, and trust in him; do what is right, and rest in the God of right.

Psalms 4:6. There be many that say, who will shew us any good?

We all want to see anything that is really good, we do not care who shows it to us, even if it be the devil himself. ‘Who will shew us any good?” That question may have another meaning, for there are some who have no desire for spiritual good, for such good as God calls good.

Psalms 4:6. LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

David began the Psalm with a personal petition, “Hear me when I call,” but now he begins to glow in spirit, and as his prayer burns more vehemently he prays for others also: “Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.” This is our highest joy, this is our greatest good, to walk in the light or God’s countenance. If we have the favour of God, and know that we have it, we need ask for nothing else, for every other blessing is assured to those who have the favour of God.

Psalms 4:7. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

The harvest and the vintage were the two seasons of greatest joy in the East, they shouted “Harvest Home” with gladness that the fruits of the earth had again been ingathered, and they drank the new wine, and danced for joy; but David says to the Lord, “ Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. “ When God puts gladness in the heart, it is real gladness, for God is not the Giver of a sham joy; and it is lasting gladness, for God does not give temporary gifts. David says, “Thou hast put gladness in my heart,” and then he compares it with the gladness of the sons of men, and he says that his joy was greater than theirs when their earthly stores were increased. Boaz went to sleep on the threshing-floor, but he that sleeps upon the bosom of God has a far softer bed than that.

Psalms 4:8. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

He who has Jehovah as his God is at home even when he is abroad, he is well guarded even when he has none upon earth to protect him, and he can go to sleep in calm confidence when others would be disturbed in mind and too timid to close their eyes.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 4, 5.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 4:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-4.html. 2011.


Lectionary Calendar
Friday, August 17th, 2018
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19
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