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4. Psalm 4

Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

2O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.

3But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.

4Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

5Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.

6 There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

7Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

8I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

He concludes, by stating, that as he is protected by the power of God, he enjoys as much security and quiet as if he had been defended by all the garrisons on earth. Now, we know, that to be free from all fear, and from the torment and vexation of care, is a blessing to be desired above all other things. This verse, therefore, is a confirmation of the former sentence, intimating that David justly prefers the joy produced by the light of God’s fatherly love before all other objects for inward peace of mind certainly surpasses all the blessings of which we can form any conception. Many commentators explain this place as expressing David’s hope, that his enemies will be reconciled to him, so that he may sleep with them in peace, God having granted him the peculiar privilege of being able to rest without being disturbed or disquieted by any man. But in my judgment the proper meaning is this, that he will live as quietly and securely alone, as in the midst of a great host of men, because God defends him for in the words, I will sleep together, I consider the particle as to be understood, as if the reading were as together, that is to say, as with a multitude. Some refer לבדד, lebadad, alone, to God, translating the words thus, Thou alone, O Lord, hast set me in safety; but this I do not at all approve, because, by taking away the contrast between these two words, together and alone, much of the beauty of the sentence is lost. In short, David boasts that the protection of God alone was sufficient, and that under it he sleeps as securely, although destitute of all human guardianship, as if he had had many to keep watch and ward continually over him, or as if he had been defended on all sides by a great company. Let us therefore, learn from his example, to yield this honor to God — to believe, that although there may appear no help for us from men, yet under his hand alone we are kept in peace and safety, as if we were surrounded by a great host.

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