THOUGHTS FROM THE PSALMS

PEACE AND JOY - PSALMS 3 & 4

 

King David, Israel's best loved and greatest king, lived for many years in dangerous and stressful situations. Many of his psalms were written from within such circumstances, including Psalms 3 and 4.

In these two short psalms we find the following dangers and stresses:

      • He was surrounded by physical enemies who threatened his life [3:1,6]
      • He was surrounded by people who expressed disbelief in God's ability or willingnes to rescue him [3:2]
      • People around him were continually misrepresenting God [4:2a]
      • People around him were forsaking God for idols [4:2b]
      • He was surrounded by people who doubted the goodness of God towards them [4:6a].

In the midst of this David expressed a quiet confidence and a deep joy:

      • He trusted that God would protect him in physical danger [3:3a,6]
      • When defeat threatened he trusted God for victory [3:3b]
      • He had confidence that God answered prayer [3:4; 4:3]
      • Even when surrounded  by enemies or danger he lay down and slept in peace because of his confidence that God sustained him and was with him [3:5; 4:8]
      • He knew God was the source of deliverance [3:8]
      • He knew God was the God of mercy, and on that basis alone he expected relief from distress [4:2]
      • He knew that God had set him apart for himself [4:3]
      • He  trusted God for forgiveness of his sins [4:4]
      • God had filled his heart with a deep joy, deeper than the joy of those enjoying an abundant harvest [4:7].

This peace and joy expressed by David was clearly not peace and joy generated by an absence of trouble or an absence of sin.

It is peace and joy right within the very centre of trouble, peace and joy generated by his knowledge of God.

It is peace and joy of one who knows himself a sinner, but who also knows and trusts that there is mercy and forgiveness with God, through the way of forgiveness appointed by God himself.

May we, each one, know this same joy and peace. Indeed may we know it to an even greater degree, because our knowledge of God and our knowledge of his forgiveness in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us far greater grounds for peace and joy than David could ever have.

Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2008.