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Psalm 4

Confident Plea for Deliverance from Enemies

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.


Answer me when I call, O God of my right!

You gave me room when I was in distress.

Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.



How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?

How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah


But know that the L ord has set apart the faithful for himself;

the L ord hears when I call to him.



When you are disturbed, do not sin;

ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah


Offer right sacrifices,

and put your trust in the L ord.



There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!

Let the light of your face shine on us, O L ord!”


You have put gladness in my heart

more than when their grain and wine abound.



I will both lie down and sleep in peace;

for you alone, O L ord, make me lie down 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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