1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; the Lord hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord. 6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! 7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell safely.
How I love this psalm! This psalm was written by King David. He was known as a man after God’s own heart, spoken as such by God Himself! David and God were close, very close. Their relationship started when David was a shepherd, and because David never chose to end it, God showed him miracles, mysteries, victories, the highest highs, but also the lowest of low times. Two truths can be said of David: He was a worshipper of God, and he was a teacher of the things of God. This psalm clearly displays both. Because David knew God so deeply, his praise could not be silenced. And because David knew God so deeply, he had to tell others about Him. He could not keep quiet about his Refuge, his Shield, his Provider, his (Whatever he had need of). Lets learn what David teaches here.
Verse one, he starts out with a request to God. He was in such constant communication with his Lord, either bringing his requests or bringing a praise, thanksgiving. He loved to acknowledge God’s goodness to him.
Verses 2-5 is where he brings a simple lesson to all who would read this psalm. Remember, his heart is so tied to God that he wants to teach others about him mainly so they can come and see that God will be good to them as well. Verse 2 he admonishes them basically saying, ‘Why are you wasting your days?’ You see, we don’t have many days here on earth. Even if we live to see 100 years, it is so short compared to eternity! When we live our life not in relationship with God, we waste it. David, here, is attempting to wake up the reader!
Verse 3 is a truth many don’t seem to believe. Many seem to believe if they live a good life, stay out of trouble, say their prayers at night, etc., they will get to heaven. They consider the “godly” men to be the supersaint who is too lofty for them to reach and even call them extreme people who are on the wrong side of religion. The godly, however, are the ones God has set apart for Himself. The rest of this chapter will define the “godly” more clearly.
Verse 4 is where he lays out simple principles to live by that will lead us close to God. First of all, when he says tremble, he is speaking of the type of fear that can better be described as respect. A careless life is a wasted life, and those who believe in God learn that their life needs to matter for something. Where it says tremble, and do not sin, David is simply bringing an awareness to the reader that we should not be careless with our life otherwise it will be swallowed up by the grave, and possibly sooner than we think. Many people have high expectations for their life, but carefree living lead to laziness, drunkenness, etc., and those high hopes were buried before they came to pass. Respect your life, do not allow sin to have its way in your life. Let Jesus show you how to live.
Meditate in your heart, and upon your bed, and be still! Relax!!! People who live their life in the fast lane either die early, go to jail, or end up spending their latter years in regret because of all the pain they experience whether physical or emotional. We were not created for that type of lifestyle. We are meant to live in God’s presence, to take time in our bible and not just read but meditate, or consider deeply what we read. We are meant to be relational people, relaxing in the presence of friends and family. Obviously we need to work hard for a living, but we need time to relax as well. Take time with Him! He is waiting to be visited by you.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness. This means to just do the right thing, and let the bible define your standard of what is the right thing. Sometimes you will be isolated by your community, or workplace, or school, or circle of friends for doing the right thing and that is why David says the “sacrifice” of righteousness. God will reward you greatly for such a sacrifice. The world needs more people who live such lives.
And trust God! God is worthy of our trust. Doesn’t it always seem like He picks the worst time to want to show us He is trustworthy? Trust Him though. Let Him do for you according to what He promises in the bible. And after prayer and supplications and confirmation in your spirit from others who believe in God as well, just believe God will do what He says He will do! He wants to come through for you, so you can tell others about Him, and heaven can be more densely populated!
In verses 6-8, David is again acknowledging God’s goodness to him, and leaving this psalm with a grateful heart. God is a great and wonderful God! He is especially good to those who choose to let Him be, and then acknowledge Him. He wants your heart to be tranquil, at peace, and rested. If you will come to Him sincerely, these benefits are yours. Will you come?