Let’s face it – 2020 has been a strange year.
But God was not surprised by all the events that have happened.
Would you join me in a four-week countdown to Thanksgiving?
When we stop for a moment, we realize we have much to be thankful for.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!(Psalm 4:1-8, English Standard Version)
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
King David is in a tight spot.
There is trouble and upheaval in the kingdom, and he can’t figure out how to resolve it and restore peace.
So where does David go?
– To his trusted inner circle of advisors?
– To his military leaders?
– To his family?
No, no, and no.
He cries out to God for help.
David remembers that God gave him relief (literally, room to breathe) during previous times of stress and turmoil, and turns back to the Lord during this time also, asking God to intervene on his behalf.
David challenges those in opposition to him to turn to the Lord, to consider their heart and actions and put their trust in God and God alone.
David calls out the people’s complaint and demand to show them favor, and humbly acknowledges that all good comes from God alone, and that joy comes from relationship with God, not from material things (vv. 6-7).
With this reminder of God’s provision, protection, and presence, David can lie down on his bed and sleep in peace, knowing that God will keep him safe and give him rest for body, mind, and soul.
Here is another paraphrase that may resonate with your soul today:
1 You are my God and protector.(Psalm 4:1-8, Contemporary English Version)
Please answer my prayer.
I was in terrible distress, but you set me free.
Now have pity and listen as I pray.
2 How long will you people refuse to respect me?
You love foolish things, and you run after what is worthless.
3 The Lord has chosen everyone who is faithful to be his very own,
and he answers my prayers.
4 But each of you had better tremble
and turn from your sins.
Silently search your heart as you lie in bed.
5 Offer the proper sacrifices and trust the Lord.
6 There are some who ask, “Who will be good to us?”
Let your kindness, Lord, shine brightly on us.
7 You brought me more happiness
than a rich harvest of grain and grapes.
8 I can lie down and sleep soundly
because you, Lord, will keep me safe.
Lord, thank You for prompting David to write down his thoughts and words for our example and reminder of Your unfailing care for us.
Kind Father, thank You for hearing and answering our prayers when we call out to You in our times of trouble – whether the trouble is in our lives, in our city, our state, our nation, or even the world.
Lord, I am thankful for all the good You have provided – You alone are the giver of all good things.
Lord, when I selfishly demand more than I need, help me to turn back to You and remember Your goodness and abundant provision.
Father, when I am afraid or worried about the present or the future, help me to remember Your care for David, and to be able to rest and sleep as a little child, knowing You watch over me, and I am secure in You.
Learning to rest in God’s care,