Read Psalm 4-6
April is going to be a fantastic month for our daily devotionals. Together we will journey through the bulk of the Psalms, Proverbs and the Song of Solomon.
When we read the Psalms it is good to remember that this is poetry. It would be naive to assume the descriptions of God and His work are always literal (unlike the historical books). In poetry, metaphors and imagery are used frequently to emphasise a quality or aspect. When David wrote ‘you knit me together in my mother's womb’ (Psalm 139:13-14) it portrays a radiant image of a parental God who even before our birth loves and is mindful of us. I don’t take this to mean that God stitched our cells together (despite ordaining it to happen!).
Another thing about poetry is that we need to read it slowly. In Psalm 4 we see David changing his audience without informing us via punctuation. (Biblical Greek and Hebrew naturally offer little in this way - which is why translation can prove such an issue). Would you agree that:
V1 - Is addressed to God.
V2-5 - Is addressed to the people of Israel
V6-8 - Is addressed to God.
Trying to dissect what is going on in David’s mind… He seems distressed (v1) that is caused by Israel's unfaithfulness towards God (v2). He implores them to repent (v4-5) as David understands that fulfilment and safety lie ultimately with God (v8).
As a King during the time of the Old Testament David held a responsibility to ensure that his citizens were right-standing with God. David was worked up over his people with worry when they were not. We don’t need to be a leader or King to care about the welfare of others in our world today. Virtually everyone I know will express the sentiment the people asked in V6 ‘Who will bring us prosperity’. Nobody wants a sad life. Everyone wants to have their needs met and feel satisfied.
For the Christian because of the hope that Jesus provided we can know peace, security and safety. I'm sure I am not alone in wanting others to know this peace - especially during a time such as this COVID-19 crisis. Let us do as David did, pray to God on the behalf of others, ask others to trust the Lord (v5), and be reassured with what God offers us (v8).