Meditations with God and Mankind


The title of Psalm 4 tells us that this Psalm is a song and was deliberately written to be accompanied with stringed instruments. In this psalm David pours out his complaint against his slanderous enemies and finds peace and refuge in communing with himself concerning his God.

v1 – Here David talks to God.

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.

There is passion in David’s plea for God to hear him.  David is not just speaking uncertain words towards heaven.  David knows he is in desperate need for God’s full attention to his present problems.

How passionate are my prayers?

We know God is not persuaded by mere emotional displays – but we also know that he cares deeply about the emotional integrity in the heart of his people.  Isaiah 64v7 talks about the lack of ‘passion’ in God’s people at the time.  God wants people who ‘call on his name, stirring themselves up to take hold of him’.  This psalm is perhaps a good foundation for us to do just this.

v2-3 – David asks the ‘sons of men’ some serious questions. 

O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?
How long will ye love vanity and seek after leasing (falsehood)?

We are told to “Selah” – “pause and consider” these questions! If we take the time to look at our current thoughts and actions and their inevitable trajectory, where do we expect to be as a result of our choices?  God’s kingdom?

Am I turning glory into shame or am I allowing God to turn my shame into something for His glory?

Men tried very hard to turn Jesus Christ’s glory into shame upon the cross, but our Lord Jesus surrendered himself completely to God’s care and control.  His shame was powerfully used by God for God’s glory.

But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself; The LORD will hear when I call unto Him. (v3)

David was so confident that the LORD would hear him when he called to Him. (v3)

All of us should have the same assurance. We should be confident that God will hear our prayers.

When prayer seems ineffective perhaps we could take a spiritual inventory to see if there is a reason for what seems to be unanswered prayer. God tells us in His word of several possible reasons why prayer may not be answered.

  • Are my prayers said out of honest lips with no guile? (Psalm 17:1).
  • Is there any sin that I am holding onto in my heart? (Psalm 66v18, Isa 59v2)
  • What is my spirit towards those in need?  (Proverbs 21v13)
  • Am I humbly reading my Bible everyday to hear God’s voice? (Proverbs 28:9).
  • Do I even believe God hears my prayer? (Matthew 17:20-21).
  • Do I practice fasting or the spirit of fasting together with my prayers? (Matthew 17:21, Isa 58:6-11)
  • Whose glory am I focusing on, God’s or my own? (Luke 18v11-12)
  • Am I a worshiper of God, seeking to do His will?  (John 9v31)
  • Do I abide in the Lord Jesus? (John 15:7).
  • Do the words of the Lord Jesus abide in me? (John 15:7)
  • Do I have faith in God or am I double minded? (James 1v6-7)
  • Am I asking with the right motives?  (James 4v3)
  • Do I confess my sins to faithful friends who pray for me? (James 5:16).
  • How is my marriage relationship? (1 Peter 3:7)

v4-5 – David talks with himself 

“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.”

David turns to calm his inner being in God’s presence. Sometimes we do have reason to feel angry, but we never have reason to sin. When we feel anger, we have a choice to make. The right choice will always be to first have that difficult conversation with our own hearts, meditating upon God’s sure word. We put our feelings into eternal perspective and turn to trust in the LORD our God.

Having calmed our spirits, we do our own part faithfully, offering the sacrifices of righteousness – and then we trust the LORD.

v6-8 – In the face of others’ doubts, David acknowledges God’s blessings.

“There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”

Having experienced continual disappointment from humans, we may begin to doubt if God will show us any good or if things will ever get any better!  But we must remember and recount all God’s goodness towards His people and trust as David did that God will always work all things together for the good of those who love him and are called according to His purpose.

When we are distressed by the ungodly we can still have gladness in our hearts because the LORD puts it there. (Note the subtle reference to bread and wine in v7! – we certainly have reason to be glad at His memorial table).

And so we find peace and even sleep well at night, even in distressing times. We may be surrounded by the ungodly, but because our safety is not reliant on our own circumstances or even our own feelings, we can rest knowing that the LORD is in control.

EXAMPLE of S.T.E.P Meditation: 


Copy out the Psalm, one little section at a time.

As an example:
“Hear me when I call,”


Write down as many biblical truths you can think of from these words.

As an example:
God will hear me when I call.
God wants me to call out to him.
I have a God who I can call out to.


Meditate on and write down the personal exhortation relevant to you today.

As an example:
When I feel afraid or uncertain I must call out to God.
I must trust in His unfailing love and care in difficult times.
Prayer is so important – where is prayer in my list of priorities?


Start to compose your prayer based on your meditations.

As an example:  
Ask God to hear you when you cry out.
Ask God to help you to cry out to Him.
Thank God for being so faithful in hearing and answering your prayers.

Continue to walk in these “S.T.E.P.S” through Psalm 4, composing your prayer as you go.  This can take as much time as you need – depending on your life situation.  The important part is that we spend the time sitting quietly in the presence of our God and coming to know the voice of His word.

When you have finished your S.T.E.P. Meditation for all the verses of Psalm 4, read through each prayer section in succession as a prayer offering to Yahweh, the God of our righteousness.

Further Suggestions: 

  • Consider having a spiritual friend – who you can do this together with – perhaps not at the same time in the same place but to provide accountability and encouragement.
  • Consider sharing your prayer with God in the presence of your faithful friend.
  • Copy the Psalm and keep it in a place that you can see during your day.
  • Write out your prayer in a prayer journal so that you go back over and pray those words again.


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