Psalm 4: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep…”

Repost from Pr. Flamme:

(8 verses, 0:42 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”


  • A petition from David to God (1).
  • David’s sermon to the ungodly (2-3).
  • David’s sermon to the saints (4-6a).
  • David prays for the Lord’s favor and in joy gives thanks (6b-7).
  • David confesses his fear, love, and trust in God (8).


  • David prays as a saint. He prays as someone who dwells securely in faith, knowing that because he has the greatest gift of all, God’s own imputed righteousness, then he can ask for help when he needs it.
  • Notice how David introduces the psalm with a prayer in verse 1. He doesn’t blindly petition a mysterious God. Rather David prays to the “God of my righteousness.” David already has the greatest gift of all in his possession. As the Lord has delivered him from sin, he will surely deliver him when David’s enemies speak lies about him.
  • Sometimes people ask me if God cares about the prayers of non-believers. David clearly teaches here that petitions that please God come from faith, not unbelief. “But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him” (vs. 3). As a Christian, you have this assurance that God hears your prayers and wishes to deal mercifully with you. Jesus has won us the ear of his Father. We therefore ask with David’s confidence, the confidence of faith.
  • “Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent” (vs. 4). We must take this to heart. The enemies of the church are everywhere, but many of us have not been placed into an office of anger to execute justice against our persecutors. To despise the vocations into which we have been placed is sin. When God’s name is blasphemed, we do become angry, but we also trust that the Lord will use those whom he has placed into an office of anger (our governments’ militaries for example), to curb our enemies who seek Christian lives. Even if you do occupy an office of anger, be sure to guard your own conscience, that you execute justice not satisfy your personal hatred, but because you have been so ordered. Therefore, pray dear Christians. Lie on your beds and remain silent.
  • How can David lie down and sleep in peace? He closes his eyes because he knows that the God who has covered his iniquities, who has spared his life from eternal death, will also guard and protect his earthly life according to his good pleasure. This, by the way, is why Jesus teaches us not to worry (Matt. 5:25-34).


  • Prayer: O God of my Righteousness, keep my eyes ever on your Son, Jesus Christ, who, through his holy passion, has lifted the light of your face upon us. Teach us to trust in your mercy in every struggle of life. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Pastor A. Brian Flamme


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