Psalm 4 is a reminder that there will be people in our lives who cause us trouble and sorrow. However, having God and His reassuring presence and promises are what get us through. The psalmist cries our for help and who does he cry out to? His God who vindicates him. He describes his enemies as those who hem him in. This literally means “in a narrow or tight place.” Yet, he testifies that God will lead him to a wide open place where he can breathe again and get relief. His enemies have slandered him over and over.
In verse 2, those enemies’ entire lives are spent in pursuit of lies and what will ultimately fail. Know this, if what others are saying about you isn’t true, the truth will eventually come out. Some wise friends once told my wife and I that time and truth walk hand in hand and in time the truth will be made known. David, the writer of this psalm, knew that to be true as well. He writes about the Lord showing the godly special favor. These words speak of “distinguishing honor.” God will vindicate and distinguish you from your detractors. Give Him time!
As for what we should do in the meantime: we should be still and quiet within. Don’t allow the gossip and lies and slander of others to get you all worked up and agitated. “Be stirred,” the psalmist writes in verse 4, but be stirred out of reverence and respect for the presence and power of God.
Be obedient (v.5) and trust in the Lord. This word trust means to have confidence, be secure, be bold. Does that describe our demeanor in this moment? It’s a lot easier to manifest those qualities when everyone is leaving us alone or saying something positive or beneficial. It is much more challenging to display such confidence when one’s actions, motives, and character are being called into question. It is only through the strength that God gives can we respond in this way.
When David asks the Lord to smile upon us, this means to sustain, to support by one’s presence. The joy and gladness David is experiencing is from his own personal fellowship with God. It far outweighs and exceeds anyting negative that people are hurling against him. Remember, he is being sustained in this dark season of his life by his personal communion with his God and we can do the same. No wonder instead of losing sleep and fretting about what others are saying, David exclaims in the last verse of the psalm he is able to rest, relax and recover in peace. This is because he is at peace with God. He testifies that the Lord makes him feel safe and secure.
We can choose to get caught up and focus on the lies of others that will eventually fail or we can focus on fellowship with God. Only one of these will allow us to be at peace.
For His glory,