Christ Died to Confirm Your Cries to Him
Psalms 4:1-8
The God of Heaven Purchased an Audience with You on Calvary
Published February 23rd, 2020; Updated February 24th, 2020
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Main point summary
New Notes
Main point summary
The Lord has severed us from sin; therefore He hears our calls-- thereby granting us respite and delight. So, trust in God through right sacrifices and cry in confidence.
Psalms 4:1-8
Answer me when I call, O God of my f righteousness!
Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
a Answer me when b I call, O God 1 of my righteousness! You have 2 c relieved me in my distress; Be d gracious to me and e hear my prayer.
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.
When I call, give me answers. God, take my side! Once, in a tight place, you gave me room; Now I’m in trouble again: grace me! hear me!
My God who has justified me, respond to my cries for help!
You have g given me relief when I was in distress.
For you have heard and granted respite in the past when I needed it.
Be gracious to me
Therefore , give me more grace,
and hear my prayer!
by responding to my cries for help.
O men, 1 how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
O sons of men, how long will a my 1 honor become b a reproach? How long will you love c what is worthless and aim at d deception? 2 Selah.
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.
You rabble—how long do I put up with your scorn? How long will you lust after lies? How long will you live crazed by illusion?
Men, how long will you continue to take the glory of God and trample it underfoot?
How long will you love vain words
That is , how long will you lust after the entertainment that the world offers at vanity fair,
and seek after h lies ? Selah
and trade truth for lies? Meditate on this .
But know
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
But know that the Lord has 1 a set apart the b godly man for Himself; The Lord c hears when I call to Him.
But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
Look at this: look Who got picked by God ! He listens the split second I call to him.
However, even though we have loved falsehood, we can know
that the Lord has i set apart j the godly for himself;
that the Lord has saved a remnant from the rest and rendered them righteous to be with Him;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
and therefore the Lord hears those who has rendered righteous when they cry out to Him.
k Be angry, 1
Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
1 a Tremble, 2 b and do not sin; 3 c Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
(4-5) Complain if you must, but don’t lash out. Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking. Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Therefore , stand in awe and tremble in fear at this unprecedented righteousness of God,
and [thereby] do not sin;
And in doing so refrain from sin.
l ponder in your own hearts m on your beds,
[How can you do this?] Preach to yourself when you lie down to sleep
and be silent. Selah
and keep your mouth shut. Meditate on this .
Offer n right sacrifices,
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord .
Offer 1 the a sacrifices of righteousness, And b trust in the Lord .
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.
These are the right sacrifices we are to offer our God,
and put your o trust in the Lord .
and are substantive ways for us to put our trust in the Lord, which we must do.
There are many who say,
Many, Lord , are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us.
Many are saying, “ a Who will show us any good?” b Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord !
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
(6-7) Why is everyone hungry for more ? “More, more,” they say. “More, more.” I have God’s more-than-enough, More joy in one ordinary day
For , many people say this :
“Who will show us some good?
"Is there anyone out there who can help us?
p Lift up q the light of your face upon us, O Lord !”
God of
heaven, please look down on us!"
You have put r more joy in my heart
Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound.
You have put a gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound.
Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
(7-8) Than they get in all their shopping sprees. At day’s end I’m ready for sound sleep, For you, God , have put my life back together.
The God of Heaven is there, and He has come down and put more joy in my heart
than they have
than all the world has
when their grain and wine abound.
when they are at their highest potential of living.
In peace I will both
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord , make me dwell in safety.
In peace I will 1 both a lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord , make me to b dwell in safety.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
Therefore , because of this joy I will do two things peacefully:
s lie down
1. I will lie down
and sleep;
2. and then I will fall asleep.
for you alone, O Lord , make me t dwell in safety.
Why? Because it is my God who has put me to sleep, resting in His confidence, His might, and His security.
Many wonder where good comes from, and ask of it from the Lord.
The Lord has made me more joyful than the rich at their peak.
James 1:19-21
Psalm 51:16-17
Because the Lord has put his joy in our heart, we can trust in Him through offering right sacrifices, and we sleep well at night. And the Lord has put joy in our hearts because we asked him to, and we asked him to sincerely because he has rendered us righteous.
Romans 5:8
The foundation for the God of Heaven coming down was His effectual "foreseverance" of us from sin. The Righteous Right Hand plucks us from the miry evil of Egypt because He purposed it in eternity past...
New Notes
How much importance do we place on crying out to our God? How often do we cry to God in prayer? Do we cry for the help of the God of heaven, or do we reiterate hollow requests to pacify our lack of comfort? I'm inviting you to take a look at your prayer life, for, Christ was crucified for you to cry in confidence . This is the reverberating teaching of Psalm 4, so allow me to lay it out for us now. It will first be helpful to notice the structure of the Psalm. We begin with an address of man to God, crying in desperation, leading to an address of God to man in condemnation, leading into man's struggle, and finishing with rest and joy. In the beginning there is desperation, but the destination delight We are born into restlessness, yet risen to respite Psalm 4 ultimately tells the story of what God has purposed about for His children, once enslaved to sin. Verses 2-3 clearly show our depravity in its entirety, namely our dishonoring of our Creator through our search for heavenly substance in a deceptive, fallen creation. However, despite our lack of honor, our lack of love, our lack of sight, our lack of anything good-- God has still chosen us. God has severed us off from sin to be holy for Him! The story is a restatement of Romans 5:8-- "but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." And therefore -- because of this favor-- the Lord hears when we cry. Did you catch that? The sovereign, sin-severing, sanctifying selection of God purposed an attentive and eager audience with the God of Heaven and Earth! What a God who selects to serve! Now, if the Father purposed it in eternity past, then the Son purchased it on the cross. Jesus paid for your prayers to bring about saving purposes in His Creation. Prayer is an active part of the plan of God . That.. is only the beginning of this great salvation sent from Heaven. Having this holy, attentive audience grants us three gifts and substantiates two responses . Let's begin with gain. Our Gain- What do we stand to gain from the all-hearing ears of our God? Supernatural joy-- "You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound" (verse 7). Relief in distress-- "You have given me relief when I was in distress" (verse 2). Restorative rest-- "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (verse 8). Our Response- How are we to respond to the all-hearing ears of our God? Confident crying-- Verse 1 shows us a man of faith calling upon a God Who has proven His faithfulness. He has done it in the past, and will do it again in the future: "Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!... Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!" Trust in God through right sacrifices-- We have an attentive audience with the God of heaven in the name of Jesus that we can confidently call on. Because of this, we are to stand in awe (verse 4). Who are we to command God? We are nothing apart from His sustaining will. Therefore, let us put our trust in Him. How? Through "right sacrifices. David writes: "be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent" (verse 4). Echoing this passage much later, James writes, "let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:19-21). For David, reverence and fear of God are appropriate responses to having the attentive ear of the Father. For James, closing the mouth and opening the ears are appropriate strategies for preparing oneself to receive the teaching of Scripture, profitable for instruction in righteousness. What does this mean? Well, David presents us with an anchor , and James presents us with a motivation . David would have us fear God in silent contemplation, constantly preaching salvation by grace alone to ourselves, because of the great salvation and audience that we have been granted! James would have us fear God in silent contemplation so that we might progress along in sanctification. On one end we have the sovereign, saving purposes of God pushing us to pray. On the other we have prayer pushing us to righteousness. So, what has God ordained to be the connector between His election and our glorification ? The purposed and purchased prayers of His people . God has granted such a great salvation, which actively involves an audience with the God of Heaven, purchased by Christ on the cross, and purposed by the Father in eternity past. The shed blood of Jesus purchases and accomplishes prayer in Jesus' name. Do we confidently cry to God like Christ died to confirm it ? Meditations on Psalm 4 We are to close the mouth and yet cry Trembling in consideration of King on high; Searching out our heart, Despite our seeking substance, Where substance is not. Severing us of from sin, Despite our bestowing honor, In places with disgrace fraught. Woe to us: Seeing lie, and saying truth. Seeing dishonor, and following after. Yet praise to God! Who sees slave to sin, And stamps sonship of God! Who takes beggars under bridges, And transforms into kings over heaven! So, close your mouth and cry for help. Stand in awe of God Himself. And so rest. And so rejoice. And so find restoration, In the God of our Salvation.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.