Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Psalm 4 - What to do in Troubled Times

I'm guessing that most of us don't have the troubles that David did. It seems like there was always someone wanting to kill him or steal his throne or at least run him out of town.

But that doesn't mean that we don't have troubles of some sort. That's just the way life works. We live in a fallen world with sinful people that basically aren't very nice to each other. And if it's not people giving us troubles then the economy or our job or the weather can give us troubles. Or all of them at the same time!!
Trouble right here in River City
(from a great musical you should watch sometime if you aren't familiar with it)

I'm sure that God inspired David to write so many Psalms about troubles because troubles are the universal story of everyone's lives - at one time or another (or all of the time.) That's why they are included in scripture, so we could see that God knows about our troubles and that even the great King David had them. And then we find the way we should respond.

So what are we to do? Even as he's complaining to God and asking Him to answer, David gives us some great advice to follow in troubled times. Here are some of the things I see in Psalm 4 of what to do in troubled times. (I looked at several translations. Most of the thoughts below were arrived at after reading the Good News Translation and the New International Version - with a little rewording of my own.)

  1. Remember that God has chosen the righteous for His own - v.3 Good News Translation
  2. Know that God hears you when you call out to Him - v.3
  3. Tremble with reverence before God and stop sinning (don't return a sin toward you with more sin) - v.4
  4. Search your heart and quit talking! - v.4
  5. Offer the right sacrifices to God - v.5 Romans 12:1 says to offer yourself as a living sacrifice
  6. Lie down and go to sleep in peace knowing that God has everything under control (if you've done the 5 things above you can do this)
Add your own advice to this list. Oh... and then do it! ha!

Side note 
I have many hard copies of the Bible in many different translations, but the easiest way to look at a passage of scripture in several translations is using or a similar site. Here is an example of looking at a passage in two translations at one time.

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