Psalm 4

If God is for us

One of my teachers, Gerhard Frost, once made a comment that has stuck with me. He remarked, “It was one of those nights when I was lying awake, babysitting the world.”  [James Limburg]

Maybe you’ve had such nights.  You worry about the kids, the grandkids, the aging parent, the bills, your health, not to mention the famine in Ethiopia, the Afghani refugee crisis, and the environmental crisis.  So sleep is elusive.  But this psalm ends with, ‘I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.’   

The poet here is tempted by two things that still have a way of keeping us from appreciating what life is really about.  One, is concern about our reputations – what others think or say about us (v.2-3); the other is concern over material possessions (v.6-7).  Now these are legitimate concerns, however they need not deflect us from the one essential truth – that our lives are of incredible value simply because we are loved by and belong to God!   As the apostle Paul once put it, ‘If God is for us, who can be against us’  (Romans 8.31). 

I am writing this just before Thanksgiving weekend.  It has been a difficult year with covid-19 coming back with new force.  It has also been a trying year for our farming friends.  You can be the most hard-working, green-fingered farmer in the world yet fail if you don’t get rain in the right amount at the right time.  In Israel, farmers might be tempted to look at their Canaanite neighbours who have other gods to help them.  They have families to feed and will do whatever it takes. Or as our poet exhorts, will they, and will we, remember where true security lies?

In vs. 1, the poet remembers that God gave him space the last time he was in a tight space.  Now, he is needy again and is bold to call for God’s action.  Even before he gets his answer he affirms, vs.5, that he will put his trust in the Lord.  The result is joy and a restful sleep in peace!   


There is no scarcity.                                                                                         

There is no shortage.                                                                                       

No lack of love, of compassion, of joy in the world.                                            

There is enough.  There is more than enough.                                                   

Only fear and greed make us think otherwise.                                                          

No one need starve.  There is enough land and enough food.                                   

No one need die of thirst.  There is enough water.                                                   

No one need live without mercy.  There is no end to grace….                                  

There is no scarcity of love.    [adapted, #1024 VT – Rosemary Freeney Harding]