4
PSALM 4#An individual lament emphasizing trust in God. The petition is based upon the psalmist’s vivid experience of God as savior (Ps 4:2). That experience of God is the basis for the warning to the wicked: revere God who intervenes on the side of the faithful (Ps 4:3–6). The faithful psalmist exemplifies the blessings given to the just (Ps 4:7–8).
Trust in God
1For the leader;#For the leader: many Psalm headings contain this rubric. Its exact meaning is unknown but may signify that such Psalms once stood together in a collection of “the choirmaster,” cf. 1 Chr 15:21. with stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
I
2Answer me when I call, my saving God.
When troubles hem me in, set me free;
take pity on me, hear my prayer.#a. [4:2] Ps 118:5.
II
3How long, O people, will you be hard of heart?
Why do you love what is worthless, chase after lies?#Love what is worthless…lies: these expressions probably refer to false gods worshiped by those the psalmist is addressing.#b. [4:3] Ps 62:4.Selah
4Know that the Lord works wonders for his faithful one;
the Lord hears when I call out to him.
5Tremble#Tremble: be moved deeply with fear for failing to worship the true God. The Greek translation understood the emotion to be anger, and it is so cited in Eph 4:26. Weep bitterly…wail: weeping within one’s heart and wailing upon one’s bed denote sincere repentance because these actions are not done in public or with the community but in the privacy of one’s heart and one’s home. The same idiom is found in Hos 7:14. and sin no more;
weep bitterly#Tremble: be moved deeply with fear for failing to worship the true God. The Greek translation understood the emotion to be anger, and it is so cited in Eph 4:26. Weep bitterly…wail: weeping within one’s heart and wailing upon one’s bed denote sincere repentance because these actions are not done in public or with the community but in the privacy of one’s heart and one’s home. The same idiom is found in Hos 7:14. within your hearts,
wail upon your beds,#c. [4:5] Eph 4:26.
6Offer fitting sacrifices
and trust in the Lord.#d. [4:6] Ps 51:19.
III
7Many say, “May we see better times!
Lord, show us the light of your face!”#e. [4:7] Ps 31:17; 44:4; 67:1; 80:4; Jb 13:24; Nm 6:25; Dn 9:17.Selah
8But you have given my heart more joy
than they have when grain and wine abound.
9#f. [4:9] Ps 3:6.#In peace I will…fall asleep: the last verse repeats two themes in the Psalm. One is the security of one who trusts in the true God; the other is the interior peace of those who sincerely repent (“on [their] beds”), whose sleep is not disturbed by a guilty conscience.In peace I will lie down and fall asleep,
for you alone, Lord, make me secure.
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