In Peace I Lie Down and Sleep


Reading the Word

Psalm 4:1–8 (ESV)

1 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! 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah3 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. Selah5 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.

Understanding and Applying the Word

David begins this psalm with a prayer to God. He then goes on to appeal to men to turn from their ways and to seek after God. The word that is used for “men” in verse 2 is one that refers to men of high rank. David’s concern is that they would turn to God for their fulfillment. He then calls on these men to live their lives in obedience. As the psalm comes to a close, David once again calls out to God to bless the people and reflects upon the blessings he has already received. Because of God’s presence, David can lie down in safety.

What is it that you seek to fulfill your life? Is it wealth? Is it a spouse? Children? A rewarding career? What is it that you seek above all other things? If it is anything other than God it is an idol and a lie. It cannot fulfill you. Only with God can we find joy and contentment in all circumstances. And only in God can we lie down at night and rest peacefully knowing our lives are secure.

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