January 5, 2017

. . . DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!

Psalm 4

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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,1 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,2 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.

Footnotes

[1] 4:2 Or O men of rank
[2] 4:4 Or Be agitated

. . . DOWN IN MY HEART TO STAY!



Key Verse | Psalm 4:8

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:8)

Central Truth

When we reflect on the character of God—His goodness, faithfulness, righteousness, strength—we can be assured that He cares for us and listens to our prayers; and we can take refuge in Him with relief and confidence that, despite our fears or our circumstances, we will remain safe from death.

Devotional | Psalm 4

I hate scary movies. They fillmy head and my heart with unease. Case in point: One night, I wasunable to fall asleep, battling a relentless sense of [unfounded] dreadbecause ofa movie my college roommate had been...

I hate scary movies. They fill my head and my heart with unease. Case in point: One night, I was unable to fall asleep, battling a relentless sense of [unfounded] dread because of a movie my college roommate had been watching. I tried fruitlessly to calm myself for an hour. In a last bid for sleep, I got up and opened my Bible arbitrarily to the Psalms, hoping God would meet me with . . . literally anything, at that point. I didn't have to look far, as I was brought to this verse: "In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:8)

Simple. Powerful. True. Psalm 4:8 has since become my mantra, my defense against fear, anxiety, and unrest. Widening my scope, I discovered what a rich text this psalm really is!

We see David cry out to God, the author of his salvation. He leans on God's pattern of faithfulness, "pleading past mercies as a ground for present favour." (Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David) He rests in assurance that God listens to His children. He puts his trust in God in the midst of challenging circumstances and powerful feelings. He speaks of the unwavering joy [joy, joy, joy down in his heart] that God gives him, and finally . . . He rests in peace, fully confident that his safety lies in the Lord and the Lord alone.

This psalm is not the cry of a hopeless man, but a passionate prayer soaked in intimate knowledge of God's character. David knows whom he's talking to. He clearly has an abiding relationship with God and trusts Him completely, and this brings him peace that passes understanding [down in his heart to stay!].

I can pray Psalm 4:8 over my fears because I know whom I am praying to. I pray to a God who does not hide from me. I pray to a God who gives me joy in the midst of sadness, assurance in the face of doubt, strength in the face of opposition, and new life in the place of death.

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Bio | Brooke Buchanan

Hey there! I'm Brooke, and I'll be your guide on The Journey today! I'm an engineer, Baylor Bear (sic 'em!), musician, superhero enthusiast, and "cool aunt." I've been attending Watermark since January 2013, serving through worship since September 2013, and serving with The Porch since August 2014. One of my favorite things to do is travel solo, right behind spoiling my little nephew and doing anything music-related (especially live music!). Whatever we're talking about, I will likely have a song lyric or movie/TV quote to go along with it.

Because my word count allows one more: Sic 'em, Bears.

Discussion Questions

1. What do you fear most?

2. Have there been times when you felt unsafe despite God's presence in your life? Are there areas currently in which you feel unsafe? 

3. Are there things you sometimes turn to before turning to God when searching for peace or joy?

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