In the fourth Psalm, David writes about the beauty of prayer. This short Psalm is only eight verses, yet there is a great deal available for contemplation and meditation to the one willing to contemplate it. As you examine this psalm, consider David’s words about the value of godly prayer.
David begins by talking about the Lord’s willingness to hear the prayers of his people. He states that in times of trouble, God has enlarged him (Vs. 1). The word “enlarged” means to broaden or strengthen. Therefore, David’s point is that in times where he is weakest, God is there to strengthen him in answer to his prayers. David also acknowledges that God knows who his people are and will always hear their prayers (Vs. 3). Servants of God do not have to worry about whether God is interested or cares about their condition. Instead, we can have confidence that God knows our every need and is always available to hear our concerns and troubles.
David will also deal with those of the “sons of men” who do not have access to God because of the lives they lead. They follow after lies and empty living turning that which is glory (the access to prayer) into something that is a shame, because they don’t have it (Vs. 2). The man who is not in a right relationship with God has no place to turn for help. God would tell Israel through the prophet Isaiah, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isa. 59:1-2). David recognizes this truth and, because of it, calls on men to turn from sin and look to God (Vs. 4-6). If a man is to have access to God, he cannot be living a life filled with sin and selfishness. There is one who always stands ready and willing to help man, but man has to be willing to put his trust in, and dedicate his actions to, God instead of himself.
David closes the psalm by thanking God for hearing him and by showing what a right relationship with God can do for man. It brings gladness to the heart (Vs. 7). The greatest joy a man can ever have is the understanding that he is right with God and God watches over him. Many people try to justify sinful actions by asking whether or not God wants them to be happy, but those that do such do not understand what true happiness is and from whence it comes.
A right relationship with God also brings peace to the servant of God (Vs. 8). The righteous servant who goes to God with everything has nothing to fear and nothing about which to worry. He can sleep in peace at night knowing he is striving for right and God is with him.
Finally, a correct relationship with God brings safety (Vs. 8). It does not mean that there will never be bad things that happen to us. It does mean that no matter what we go through in this life, safety for eternity awaits the righteous. It is something no man can take away. The soul of the righteous is always safe.
The great lessons of Psalm 4 center on the glorification of prayer and the understanding of what righteousness makes available to man. If I am faithful to God, I can rest assured that he will always be there to, “hear me when I call.”