Psalm 4 | Safe and Secure

DAVID GOFF | may 20, 2020


Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress;
Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.

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.

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.

There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.


Psalm 4



According to the National Institutes of Health, well over 30% of people suffer from sleep problems related to insomnia. Some of the adverse effects of chronic insomnia include difficulty focusing, bad moods, sleepiness, and an increased risk of health problems.


Although insomnia may have any number of various causes, most medical professionals point to stress & insecurity as the primary ones. And as the stress and insecurity of our lives increase, we often see our sleep correspondingly decrease. It may seem debilitating and hopeless.


Yet, there is good news for us in the scriptures! Throughout the Psalms, David often wrote about the safety and security of the Lord, even amid trouble. In Psalm 4, his prayer focuses on the safety of the Lord, providing us two encouraging truths to reflect upon:



The safety of the Lord transcends circumstances


As our Psalm begins, we see David express, from the depths of his heart, the confidence he has in the Lord. For many people, this type of peace is elusive in their life. They don’t know what it is like. But David knew a safety in the Lord that transcended his circumstances.


The first way David experienced this safety is through his fellowship with the Lord in prayer. He knew God answers prayer - because He has come through for him in the past. David knew this well as he reminded the Lord, “You have relieved me in my distress” (Psalm 4:1).  


In our own lives, there is no greater confidence than to have a friend who has proven themselves by being there for us during our time of greatest need. The Lord provided this to David as his enemies pursued him from every side. The Lord could be relied upon like no other. David declares his trust in Him as he announces the “Lord will hear when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).


David also experienced this safety because the Lord had set him apart to himself. In other words, David was chosen of God and one of His children. But, beyond that, David was anointed by God to take the throne of Israel, the future throne of Jesus Christ. This reality would put David’s enemies on notice and ensure him of the Lord’s blessings. This reality also put gladness in his heart.


David didn’t look to the promise of an abundant harvest of grain or wine to bring him joy. It was the safety of the Lord, which gave him the ability to “lie down in peace, and sleep” (Psalm 4:8). Just as a newborn baby falls asleep in the arms of his mother, David had trust and peace in the Lord.


Let’s now see how this Psalm invites unbelievers to participate in these blessings of the Lord.


The safety of the Lord requires repentance & trust


In this Psalm, we also see the grace of the Lord being exhibited by His call to the rebellious unbelievers. We see this first in verse 2, where their sinful and meaningless pursuits are called out:

How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah

Like all unbelievers, the subjects of this Psalm “exchanged the truth of God for the lie” (Romans 1:25), and their lives brought shame to God. Years later, Solomon would describe the Godless pursuit of life as “… vanity and grasping for the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). In response to their sin and worthless pursuits, the Lord asks, “how long?”


It is in verse 4, where these unbelievers are called to “meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” Put another way; they are being urged to reflect upon their sin and repent. The Psalmist desire was that they would come and be a part of the blessings that he knew.


How about you? Have you ever meditated upon your standing before God? All of our pursuits without God are like grasping for the wind. To this pursuit, the Lord asks you the same question, “How Long?”


Have you ever repented of your sins and trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ? There is no more important decision you have to make in your life. Today, the Holy Spirit invites you to repent of your sins and trust in him.


There are many things that can consume us with stress and insecurity. However, the safety of the Lord can transcend our circumstances; that we may “lie down in peace, and sleep” (Psalm 4:8) in Him.



David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI