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Even In The Storm

The Psalms: Chapter 4  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:03:49
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Prayer
World Birth and Death Rates
Birth Rate
• 19 births/1,000 population
• 131.4 million births per year
• 360,000 births per day
• 15,000 births each hour
Death Rate
• 8 deaths/1,000 population
• 55.3 million people die each year
• 151,600 people die each day
• 6,316 people die each hour
Now think about that…6,316 people die each hour...
that’s 6,316 phone calls to someone they had just seen hours before...
Saw them walk out the door NOT THINKING it would be the last time...
151,600 lives … TIMES 50 - lives affected each day from death...
Needless to say - When’s your storm coming?
You’ve all been through a few I’m sure....and some of you more recently...
BUT - for some of you right now - you see the storm clouds gathering...
Today we’re going to walk through a Psalm that will hopefully help us see through the clouds...
Psalm 4 ESV
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. 1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord. 6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Now as we look at this Psalm as a whole, we see that this Psalm was written by David in what seems to be a difficult time of his life.
It helps to know actually what the backdrop of this Psalm really is....from a historical perspective
This Psalm is believed to have been written by David during the time when one of his son’s - named Absalom rebelled against him, and tried to take the kingdom from him.
If you’re familiar with that story, David ends up sending 3 of his commanders into battle to fend off his son Absalom...
And David tells them to “Take it easy on Absalom”...
But Joab, one of David’s commanders, ends up killing Absalom...
And so David here is not - NAIVE to pain and suffering...
AND YET...
Psalm 4:1 ESV
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
SLIDE: Even In The Storm: We Exalt God

Even In The Storm

David here shows us that even in the darkest of times, PRAYER is necessary!
I don’t know about you, and it might seem OBVIOUS that when troubles come...
we AS CHRISTIANS always seek God in prayer...
BUT I CAN TELL you for me...
That’s not always the case
I’ll find myself - in seasons of life, where it’s like I’ll WAKE UP FROM A FOG...
…and realize that I haven’t prayed in the longest time!
EVEN when life isn’t going well.
EVEN when I’m walking through a trial...
And it’s always SHOCKING to me - that I had never CONSIDERED taking this trial before the LORD...
I think a lot of times we can get caught up in trying to ATTACK LIFE with our best of INTENTIONS!
And maybe we SINCERELY try to do the right thing...
BUT - all the while - TRYING to do it on our own…in our OWN STRENGTH!
Listen!
One of the most dangerous things you can do with FEAR and ANXIETY, as a Christian....is to pretend that you’re strong and don’t have it!
If THAT’S you, you will never walk out this PSALM in your life!
And here DAVID says something remarkable...
And look at the first line of this verse...
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
“O God of my righteousness!”
David KNEW that even his BEST DEEDS were under the RULE of God...
David was seeking STRENGTH from outside of himself!
Seeking strength from the God of his goodness!
AND IF God was the God of his goodness…then SURELY He was a God worthy of GOING to for HELP!
**Ever have to call your cable company/internet company for support help…and you just KNOW this call is NOT going to be helpful…?
David KNEW that he was crying out to a SOVEREIGN God…one who EVEN RULES over David’s goodness!
NOT ONLY that - but why do you think David was so confident in going to God for HELP??
Psalm 4:1 ESV
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
David was confident in PRAYER because he’s SEEN and EXPERIENCED good RESULTS!
“You have given me RELIEF when I was in distress!”
**In Baseball, if your relief pitcher finds success, you keep running him out there...
**In football, if at the end of the game your running back keeps gaining yards, you keep giving him the ball
**In the 80s and 90s, Michael Jordan kept making every shot against the Cavs, so he kept shooting
**In the 90s, our favorite TV shows kept finding themselves at the top of the ratings, so they kept going year after year
David had experienced PRAYING to God for help, and then GETTING that help, but it didn’t stop there!
He knew where his help came from!
And so he was confident that God would COME THROUGH for him!
Even in the Storm, he Exalted God!
Not only that but he also “Exhorted his Enemies”!

Even In The Storm

Now, EXHORT doesn’t mean to - execute!
No, it means to strongly encourage!
Psalm 4:2–3 ESV
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
Here we see David addressing his enemies.
NOW - remember, more than likely, this is referring to those interested in overtaking King David’s throne...
and that included his own son - Absalom
And so you can imagine the heartache that David was feeling...
At one point in the story…it was decided that Absalom was going to kill David…his dad...
And yet, what we see here from David is not a - VENGEFUL address
What David does here is he puts these men - in their proper place!
Verse 2 starts with “O men”…how long shall my honor be turned into shame...
This phrase - O Men - in the New American Standard Version is rendered - “O sons of men”
And what David is saying is -
Listen - you men who are trying to overthrow me....you’re actually trying to UNDO what GOD HAS DONE!
He’s saying - you’re nothing but MERE CLAY....
Surely these guys, including Absalom, had thought that they could help ISRAEL rise to new heights!...
And yet David says - “O sons of men”…how long will you LOVE VAIN words and seek after lies...
SO David here is looking at his enemies…those plotting against him and saying...
Why do you love VAIN words and seek after lies…?
What’s David referring to?
If you go to 2 Samuel, we’ll see what he’s referring to...
2 Samuel 15:1–6 ESV
1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
See what Absalom did was - he would stand at the palace gate...
and when suitors would come to the palace to lay before David a complaint, or issue, that needed a decision to be rendered...
Absalom would stop them at the gate, ask them where they were from...
and then tell them that he himself would have decided in favour with every suit that came...
And so Absalom told the people what they wanted to hear…and therefore…over time...
STOLE THE HEARTS of the MEN OF ISRAEL!
**It’s a good thing people don’t use THIS tactic anymore!!!
We see this EVERYWHERE no?
in Business!
In INTERVIEWS..
In CHURCHES! - the Health, Wealth, and Prosperity gospel!
I hope you know - My job here is NOT TO KEEP YOU IN THIS CHURCH!*
But listen - sometimes - LIFE.IS.HARD!
Why? Because sometimes - other PEOPLE make it difficult!
And EVERYTHING inside of us wants to CURSE THEM...
SAY bad things ABOUT THEM...
MURMUR ABOUT them...
Get others to AGREE WITH US
Trample people’s names
Wish BAD things upon them...
And yet, that’s not the example we see in DAVID...
Psalm 4:2 ESV
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
David here - in his questioning of these men, he lays down TRUTH...
He KNOWS that Absalom was SPEAKING lies to the people...
Only telling them what they wanted to hear!
And so he says to these people - WHY do you seek after LIES?
You know - Scripture makes it CRYSTAL clear, that if we ....
....HOW many sides are there to every story?
2 sides!
When people hear a story from someone...
If you don’t pursue hearing the other side of the story.....do you know what the Bible says of you?
John 7:51 ESV
51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?”
Proverbs 18:13 ESV
13 If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.
Proverbs 18:17 ESV
17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
The Bible makes it clear that it is foolishness to render judgement on a matter before hearing both sides of a story!
These men that David is speaking of in this Psalm…they rendered judgment before hearing the other side!
Absalom made claims about David, and without hearing David’s side....
many in Israel believed Absalom.
If ONLY THEY WOULD HAVE TRIED TO HOLD A MEETING WITH DAVID!
Would David had met with those men…??
Of course!
And YET - instead - David finds himself EXHORTING those who are against him…
Encouraging them to KNOW that what they’ve believed - were LIES!
Encouraging them to REMEMBER that his thrown was established by the one-true God...
Psalm 4:3 ESV
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.
David is saying - The Lord is on MY side!
NOW - it’s not a coincidence where David heads next in this Psalm...
Question: Have you ever been wronged by someone?
Dumb question right?
How did you handle it - meaning - how did you handle it in your THOUGHT life?
You ever have someone wrong you - and you just spend the next...
6 months...
1 year
3 years
5 years...
THINKING ONLY about that person who wronged you?
David wants to show us today - that THAT’S a dangerous thing!
If all we EVER do is FOCUS on the person who WRONGED us…we’re gonna be in trouble!
Where does David head next in this Psalm!
Let me tell ya - David Examines himself!

Even In The Storm

Psalm 4:4–5 ESV
4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
We need to know - that when things start going south in our lives...
TRIAL comes...
SUFFERING comes...
Someone wrongs us...
If we ONLY focus on the one who wronged us, we will fester in our own prideful juices, and we will end up misusing the trials that God ordains for us to walk through!
For those who BELONG to God - He will ORDAIN that we walk through VARIOUS trials...
…in order to MOLD us into the people He wants us to BE!
And in order for THAT to happen - WE MUST, in and thru the trials we face....EXAMINE OURSELVES!
Rachel is constantly REMINDING me of this!
If i get frustrated with something in life and all my energy is FOCUSED on THAT THING...
without fail - SHE’LL say - Have YOU prayed about it? Or are you just going to POUT about it?**
We MUST go THERE - because if we DON’T - if we REBEL against this!
we will BURN with pride…and PRIDE cometh before the FALL!
And if ANYONE understood THAT it was David!
David could think back to his early days…like a young Absalom…when David himself grew in popularity among the people of Israel...
And the people wanted to MAKE HIM KING...
The differences between the 2 stories is that where ABSALOM took it upon himself to STEAL the kingdom from David...
David, EVEN THOUGH he had opportunity, after opportunity to TAKE the kingdom…he WOULD NOT DO IT!
His mindset at the time was - No, I’ll wait on the LORD!
We see that same mindset here...
Psalm 4:4–5 ESV
4 Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.
David here is preaching to himself!
Instead of CURSING his enemies…and letting his heart RAGE with anger...
What’s he doing?
He’s reminding himself - like he did with King Saul....TRUST in the LORD!
Our slide said - EVEN in the STORM....ESPECIALLY in the storm! We must TRUST the LORD!
WHERE else will comfort be found....when the world is crumbling all around us!
So FAR....in the midst of this TRIAL....David has
Exalted God - for who He is…understanding that God is SOVEREIGN over ALL OF THIS!
Exhorted his enemies - reminding them of who they are before God!
Examined himself - lest he well up with pride and NOT trust God!
and now what?
SLIDE: Even in the Storm: We Entreat God To Be Our Joy

Even In The Storm

What does David say?
Psalm 4:6–7 ESV
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
David says - YES - there are many people who are saying - MAN - Can’t we catch a BREAK?!!
We just need some GOOD to happen to us!!
NOW - If David was your run-of-the-mill Prosperity Preachers, he would have said:
“There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Fill our barns with PLENTY!
Fill our bank accounts with PLENTY!
No- It says - “Who will show us some good? - Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
We want GOOD! - we WANT YOU God!!!
v7
Psalm 4:7 ESV
7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.
YOU - LORD, have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound!
Depending on what Satisfies you in this world…will either be a LASTING satisfaction, or a temporary satisfaction!!
I mentioned this quote last week...
SLIDE:
“If your goal is to maximize your pleasure, success, and comfort in this world, then Christianity is not for you”
Christianity is about finding your satisfaction in GOD...
TO THE EXTENT that if trials come....suffering comes....loss comes...
We still have LEGS to stand on because we’re STANDING on Jesus!
We have an ETERNAL perspective...
And David here says TO GOD - You have (put more joy) (satisfied) my heart MORE than they…when they have overflowing grain and wine!
WITH GOD as our JOY - when trials come - OUR JOY REMAINS
WITH Grain and Wine (this world) our JOY - when those things fade - OUR JOY FADES
And so David here - EVEN in the STORM, is ENTREATING (begging) God to GIVE US MORE OF HIMSELF!
David knows that to INCREASE his own joy, he must SEE more of God!!
Is that the cry of your heart today? Do you want to SEE more of God?
I hope so…because when we do…when we TRUST Him...
SLIDE: Even in the Storm, We will Experience The Peace of God

Even In The Storm

Psalm 4:8 ESV
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Now don’t forget the historical backdrop of these verses...
And David here says -
I SOOO Trust God...
I’m SOOO Satisfied in Him...
That EVEN in the Storms of LIFE:
in Peace, i will both lie down and sleep!
Why?
Because YOU alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety!
We can LOCK our doors at night...
We can power wash our kids every night with Sanitizer
We can load up our bellies with Pro-Bi-Everything
We can own the newest and greatest alarm systems...
But ONLY the Lord, and the LORD alone…makes us dwell in safety!
And He should be praised for that!
David has revealed a lot to us today...
SLIDE: That Even In the Storms of Life...
We Exalt God
We Exhort Our Enemies
We Examine Ourselves
We Entreat God To Be Our Joy
We Experience The Peace of God
Even in the Storms of life!
And for that we say - AMEN!
Let’s Pray
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