Daily D – Psalm 4:4-5
Psalm 4:4, 5 Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the LORD. (NIV)
Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Keep your mouth shut, and let your heart do the talking.
Build your case before God and wait for his verdict.
Job and Psalms stand next to one another in our Bibles. If you read the first three chapters of Job and the first five psalms, you see some common ground Job and David each walked. They both knew problems of unusual size and scope. And no, that is not a Goliath joke. Some problems are bigger than individual giants with bad breath and worse moods.
Job loses just about everything dear and precious to him in chapter 1. David’s own son seeks to overthrow him in Psalm 3. Job loses his health in chapter 2. David is deeply distressed in Psalms 4 and 5. It is almost impossible to sleep because of what people are saying and doing.
The bottom line for Job in chapter 1 is this:
and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
may the name of the LORD be praised.”
The bottom line for David in Psalm 4:8 is this:
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
One thing is truer than true:
God is good.
All the time.
All the time.
God is good.
A jailbird apostle put it like this:
who have been called according to his purpose.
God is good all the time.
Life is not always good.
God works for the good of those who love him.
Not everything that is good feels good.
Is today a hard day?
Job was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil, (Job 1:1). “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East,” (verse 3).
Job was blameless, upright, and the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time).
King David was a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).
The Apostle Paul was God’s “chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel,” (Acts 9:15). Don’t miss verse 16: “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
When Paul looked back years later, he wrote 2 Corinthians 6:3-10. Check it out. There is a lot of hard stuff there.
Hard times come to us all. Job, David, and Paul knew the lowest of lows, the hardest of hard times. Job, David, and Paul are also three of the most joyful people who ever lived. How can this be?
They loved God.
They were called to and lived out his purpose for their lives.
God worked all things together for their good.
God can do more good with our hard times than we will ever achieve through smooth sailing and leisurely pursuits.
Don’t go looking for hard times, they will find you in due course.
Do go looking for God in all things at all times and enjoy the surprise of joy unbound and purpose fulfilled.
I will trust God with all of my heart and not try to figure out everything for myself. I will submit to him and follow his path. (Proverbs 3:5, 6)
Our Father, my Hard Times list does not quite compare with Job’s, David’s, or Paul’s. There is a list, however. Everyone I know has a list. Give us the right perspective on our problems. Empower us to see how they are shaping us into trophies of your grace. When I started asking you to saturate my life, I did not consider there were some things that needed squeezing out so that you could fill me with all that is good, pure, patient, kind, and loving. Thank you for my problems and how they drive me to you. Thank you for your goodness and how it turns stones of stumbling into steps of glory. Amen.
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Psalm 32:7-9 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Exodus 39:42, 43 So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Exodus 33:13 “If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.”
Exodus 31:1-5 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!”