Psalm 4 (Additions to Sermon 15-6-21)

My Dear Congregation,

I hope you all enjoyed this week’s devotion and I hope it gave you strength for the week. Now let us take a closer look at:

Psalm 4:

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. O ye sons of men, how long [will ye turn] my glory into shame? [how long will ye] love vanity, and seek after delusions? Selah. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. [There be] many that say, Who will shew us [any] good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time [that] their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

Commune with your own heart in the temple, no … upon your bed!

The bed is a Holy Place! Jacob cursed Reuben, not because the latter had had sex with one of his concubines, but because he defiled the bed, not the woman!

When Jacob took the oath of Joseph, not to bury him in Egypt, he bowed upon the bed’s post! And where did Joseph touch him? Where Did Abraham’s Servant Put His Hand?

There is only one word in Hebrew for the expression ‘stand in awe’. It is ragaz. The meanings of this word seem rather different from standing in awe, implying being still. The Gesenius dictionary says it means ‘to be moved’, to fear, to tremble. However at the end of this verse it says, ‘be still’. So the translation to be in awe is actually not bad, but it does not say to stand as in contrast to lie down on your bed, which it does say!

There are other meanings of ragaz quoted by Gesenius, which all imply movement, to be moved with anger, to rage. The concept here is the act of God through the human body. When we are acting out our anger or when we are raging we are not in control of what we are doing. In this sense give yourself over to the acts of God, but in a still manner in this verse: sin not, don’t try to think, let God put things into your soul, commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.

In awe experience the acts of God and sin not, do not think of sin, not of the sins mentioned in this week’s devotion, like greed and covetousness, but also do not commit the Original Sin, the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 3: 5)! Judge not that ye be not judged! (Matt. 7: 1)

Commune with your heart upon your bed! What has God put in our hearts when he created us in his image, male and female (Gen. 1: 27)? Also during sex when we really let go we are not in control of our body.

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. Have a good meal! The Ancients ate their sacrifices!

Many say, who will show us good, and they might not feel like eating, but if you eat, God will lift up the light of his countenance upon us (it says us, not me)! He will put gladness in my (not our) heart, a gladness more than what grain and even wine can bring!

How great is that? What might this be? It will be something which makes the believer lie down in peace and sleep, since God will make him dwell in safety, in a safety where only God’s will counts and nothing on earth can touch him!