Book of Psalms

Further Analysis

Source 1

“a. Hear me when I call: There is passion in David’s cry. He doesn’t want to just cast up words towards heaven. He needs God’s attention to his present problem.”

“b. O God of my righteousness: David knew that his righteousness came from God, and not from himself. He calls upon the God who makes him righteous.

“c. You have relieved me … Have mercy on me: In a familiar pattern, David uses past mercy as a ground for future help. “God, I know you haven’t blessed me thus far to abandon me, so have mercy on me.”

“i. “This is another instance of David’s common habit of pleading past mercies as a ground for a present favour.” (Spurgeon)”

  1. (Psa 4:2-3) David talks to men.

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.

“b. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? Many try to connect Psalm 3 with Psalm 4, thinking that this was also written in connection with Absalom’s rebellion. This is probably incorrect because the focus in this psalm isn’t David’s physical safety or kingdom but his reputation. Wicked men slandered David.

i. “In this psalm, the problem is one of malicious slander and lies. It is the psalmist’s reputation rather than his person that is being attacked.” (Boice)

ii. Turn my glory to shame: Jesus experienced what David experienced. Wicked men tried to turn almost every glorious thing in His ministry into shame.”

“d. The LORD will hear when I call to Him: The ungodly have a disaster waiting for them, but the godly have a great reward in the LORD. This is why David knows the LORD will hear when I call to Him.

i. Each Christian should have the same assurance. They should be confident that God will hear their prayers. When prayer seems ineffective it is worth it to take a spiritual inventory to see if there is a reason for unanswered prayer. The Bible tells us there are many reasons why prayer may not be answered.

  • Not abiding in Jesus (John 15:7)

“7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

  • Unbelief (Matthew 17:20-21)

“20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”[a]

  • Failure to Fast (Matthew 17:21)

21 That kind of spirit comes out only if you use prayer and fasting.|”[a]
– A Bad Marriage Relationship (1 Peter 3:7)

1 Peter 3:7English Standard Version (ESV)

“7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”
– Unconfessed Sin (James 5:16)

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.[a]
– Lying and Deceitfulness (Psalm 17:1)

A Prayer of David.
17 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry!
Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
– Lack of Bible Reading and Bible Teaching (Proverbs 28:9)

9 If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
– Trusting in the Length or Form of Prayer (Matthew 6:7)”

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

“B. David talks to himself.

  1. (Psa 4:4-5) David calms himself before the Lord.

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD.

“a. Be angry, and do not sin: With the ungodliness around him, David had reason to be angry but he had no reason to sin. He reminds himself to not sin in his anger and to find solace in meditation before the LORD.

b. Meditate within your heart: David speaks of the Christian practice of meditation, not the eastern practice of meditation. In Christian meditation, we fill our heart and mind with God’s word. In eastern meditation the idea is to empty the heart and mind, leaving it open for deceiving spirits.

c. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord: David knew the value of religious observance (offer the sacrifices), yet he also knew that they could not replace trust in the Lord. When religious observance is coupled with true trust in God, we draw near to God and experience the benefits of drawing near.”

Source 2