Responding to Psalm 4

For the complete study on Psalm 4, here are the links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

I think that of the eight verses in this psalm, the verses that struck me the most were verses four and five.  I love the progression in those verses.  David takes his readers from the point of anger to the point of worship in just two verses.

Without writing another dedicated study on these two verses, let’s take a look at this progression step by step:

  • Be angry, and do not sin;” – Here’s the starting point.  Do not let your emotion and your passion get the best of you.  “Do not sin” essentially sums up the focus of the Law.
  • Ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”  Step away from whoever or whatever is troubling you and take time to cool off.  Really think about what is making you angry and why it is making you angry, and then sit in silence and let the calm seep in.
  • Offer right sacrifices,” – I didn’t pick up on this before, but how can you not see the reference back to Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-15)?  Cain was angry because he did not offer a right sacrifice.  This is an appeal not only to self-examination, but also to check how our relationship with God is doing.
  • And put your trust in the LORD.” – Notice that whatever the source of anger was has now completely faded out of the picture.  The focus of our energy is once again where it should be: having a right relationship with God and trusting Him alone for provision and care.

That is an amazingly concise and beautiful couple of verses.

It is a pattern we should all try when we’re struggling with anger (or any sin, for that matter).

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