Night Songs, Psalm 4:3-8

astronomy cloud clouds cosmos“But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.  Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.  Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the LORD.  There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?  Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!  You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.  In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD make me dwell in safety” Psalm 4:3-8 ESV).

If there ever were a great night song, this would be it.  This passage packs power and a brief devotional thought will not do it justice.  But here goes:  be assured that to be ‘set apart’ (or holy for the LORD) is a good thing.  If we belong to him, we have his protection and help.

However the Psalmist puts his finger on the one reason for most of our sleepless nights—anger.  We are angry at the injustice, angry that things are not going the way we want, angry at words spoken against us…or angry that we did not control what we said against another.  Maybe we hold righteous indignation about the mistreatment of a loved one, or an innocent victim of evil.  We wrestle with these things and our anger boils.  God knows it.  He even allows it—unless—in in our anger we sin.

What do we do with it…offer it to God.  Give up the right to own it and stew about it; trust God with the situation.  Yes, even if we have had to make that same sacrifice countless times before.  Yes, even if the situation has not been resolved yet, or worse has resolved in a way that seems wrong to us.  It’s above our pay grade.  It belongs to the LORD.

When we put our trust in the LORD for these difficult things, we make space for joy and peace to reside.  Do not throw the situation at God and slam the door before he can finish his work in us.  Wait for it. Expect it.  Meditate on it and allow joy and peace to extinguish the fires of anger and disappointment. Will the thing still smolder?  Possibly.  But our knowledge of God, who is faithful, allows us to ‘dwell in safety’.  I pray that you can find rest in that safe place where he holds you to himself.