Psalm 4

Psalm 4

You gave me room

We all need rooms: A study, a bedroom, a dining room, a living room, and a prayer room.  The psalmist says that God gave her a room! It may not be a room in her house. It may be a room in her heart. When all the things seem absurd or confused, the psalmist can visit the room and meet God there.

There the psalmist calls to God, knowing that God will answer. Even when God is silent, she knows that God is listening. Not just her words, but her thoughts are heard by God. Still she says it loud:

“Answer me when I call, O God of my right!  You gave me room when I was in distress.  Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.”

However, people laugh at the psalmist. Because they do not believe in God, they think that those cries and prayers are futile. They treat prayer waste of time. The psalmist has to defend herself from these ridicules: “How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame?  How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.”

Actually prayer life is a constant battle between the doubts and trust. Doubts are pronounced not only by the mocking non-believers. They come from the hearts of the believers also. The psalmist encourages those believers, including her: “When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.” We can have doubts but we cannot afford sin. Rather we can be silent than to say, “There is no God!”

When God is silent and things look failing, people keep mocking the psalmist: “O that we might see some good!” I can only continue to pray: “Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”

When we stay in our innermost room in our heart for a long time with trust in God, we can have this unexplainable joy. Now we can even fall asleep, know that God is in charge of the whole universe. The psalmist now finishes his song with this confession:

You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

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

All the hustles and noises are quieted down. Now it is awfully quiet. Maybe God wants to speak now.

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