Evening prayer (Ps 4:8-4:8)

“I will both lie down and sleep

In peace.

You alone!

Yahweh!

Make me lie down in safety.”

Clearly this is an evening prayer as they are about to lie down and go to sleep. Only Yahweh would protect them and keep them safe. What a beautiful thought. This is somewhat like the prayer, “Now I lie me down, my Lord, to sleep, my soul to keep.” You can sleep in peace because Yahweh will protect you and keep you safe.

Grateful and happy (Ps 4:6-4:7)

“There are many who say.

‘O that we might see some good!

Lift up the light of your face!

Shine on us!

O Yahweh!’

You have put more joy and gladness in my heart.

It is more than when grain and wine abound.”

There is a strange expression about the bright face of Yahweh that lights up everything that is often repeated. They wanted to see some goodness or good things happen. Somehow the light from the face of Yahweh would shine on them in order to bring them happiness. This joy and happiness would then fill up their souls or hearts. This joy was greater than wonderful grain harvests and abundant wine supplies.

The right sacrifices (Ps 4:4-4:5)

“When you are disturbed

Do not sin!

Mediate about it on your beds!

Be silent!

Selah

Offer right sacrifices!

Put your trust in Yahweh!”

However, there was a caveat to this self-righteousness. You could not sin even if you were a little disturbed. You had to meditate while you were in bed. You had to be silent in your prayer. After this mention of silence, there is a pause for a musical interlude. You had to offer the right sacrifices. Apparently this psalm might have been used when burnt offerings or evening sacrifices were being made. You had to put your trust in Yahweh, and not in yourself.

Yahweh listens (Ps 4:3-4:3)

“Know that Yahweh has set apart

The faithful for himself.

Yahweh hears

When I call to him.”

Yahweh always sets apart his believers. Yahweh listens to the faithful. Thus David who assumed that he is one of the faithful will always find Yahweh listening to him when he calls. There is a certain certainty or self righteousness to David and his followers.

Why do people lie? (Ps 4:2-4:2)

“How long,

You people,

Shall my honor suffer shame?

How long will you love vain words?

Why do they seek after lies?

Selah”

David believed that people were lying about him, since he believed that he was falsely accused. Why did they continually try to bring the honor of David down? Why did they love vain words? Why did they seek after lies against David? Once again there is the musical interlude pause of “Selah.”

David asks Yahweh to listen to him (Ps 4:1-4:1)

To the choirmaster leader, with stringed instruments, a psalm of David.

Answer me!

When I call,

O God of my right!

You gave me room

When I was in distress.

Be gracious to me,

Hear my prayer.”

This Psalm 4 has a leader or choirmaster in charge with stringed instruments used. This is also a psalm of David, but without any particular circumstances. It is a cry for help or a lament. David wanted God to answer him. God gave him room when he was upset. He wanted God to pity him or be gracious to him. The biggest thing is that he wanted God to hear his prayer.