Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday, August 18th Psalm 4

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 17-18, Psalm 143, Galatians 2
Today's scripture focus is Psalm 4

Psalm 4 English Standard Version (ESV)

Answer Me When I Call

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
    You have given me relief when I was in distress.
    Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
    How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.
Be angry, and do not sin;
    ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
Offer right sacrifices,
    and put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
    Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
You have put more joy in my heart
    than they have when their grain and wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Accompanying sermon: A Prayer for Tight Spots by Darryl Dash

This psalm teaches us how to react when we're in a tough situation in life - no matter why type of trial or situation it is.

First, we should respond with confidence in God.  Look at verse 1 and see David's bold expectation that God would not only hear his prayer, but answer it.  We can and should have that same boldness!  What an amazing priviledge it is to be able to come to the very throne of God with boldness, expecting, not only an audience, but an answer!  If we have this priviledge, why would we not use it?

Second, we should respond with honesty to the people around us.  Our tight spots often involve people, don't they?  Here (v2-5) David calls out some men on their behaviour, rebuking them for dragging his name through the mud, loving what is empty and worthless, and seeking lies.  He then reminds them of God's faithfulness to the faithful - just because they have insulted and demeaned David does not make David unworthy in God's eyes.  God has not forgotten or abandoned David.  David then encourages them to repent.  Those are the three steps we are to follow as well when it becomes necessary - call people out on their behaviour, remind them (and us) of who we are in Christ, and call them to repentance.

Third, we should find our peace with God.  We see in v6-8 that some people are only "in it" for what they can get out of it.  They want God to act like their own personal genie.  But that's not how it works.  We need to know that we can find peace and safety in God, no matter our circumstances.

Ravi Zacharias said, “Faith is confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in his power, so that even when his power does not serve my end, my confidence in him remains because of who he is.”
Isn't that powerful?

God wants to hear from us, and we can approach His throne with bold confidence.

Sometimes we need to deal honestly with people in our lives, graciously but truthfully calling them to repentance.

We need to know who we are in Jesus Christ.  He has set us apart, we are His, and every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies is ours and at our disposal.  It matters not what others think or say about us.

And no matter what is going on, we can sleep in peace because He is faithful.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Psalm 5
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 19-20, Psalm 144, Galatians 3

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