April is poetry month. I’m celebrating by reflecting on a Psalm a day, and perhaps posting a poem of my own. Join me?
To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have given me relief when I was in distress.
Be gracious to me and hear my prayer!
2 O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame?
How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah
3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
4 Be angry, and do not sin;
ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices,
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
7 You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
This mug quotes Psalm 4:7 although just the first part of the verse.
But often a quote of just the first part alludes to the whole, as Ephesians 4:26 quotes the first part of Psalm 4:4 (I never saw that before today.):
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, (Eph. 4:26)
Be angry and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. (Ps. 4:4)
Do they inform each other? I think so, and from what I learned yesterday about working through a desperate situation by prayer, I think this pondering in your heart on your bed and being silent has a limit: work it through with God and then go to sleep in peace. The sun going down on your anger reminds me not of going to bed but of the Hebrew day ending with sunset: don’t carry over from one day to the next anger or grudge. I sure am guilty of that one! But bless the Lord, he has also answered my prayers to pull bitter roots and restore my heart so many, many times.
He has put more joy in my heart this past weekend than any drunk party goer can rival. Easter Vigil with its candlelight, 12 miracle readings and sung Psalms, affirmation of baptism, and earliest service of resurrection is the best party ever, in my opinion, growing my heart in faith and in love toward other believers gathered and absent. But all three services (Good Friday and Easter morning too) were amazing and filled with God’s love poured out on his people gathered there. How has God poured joy into your heart, more than you can express lately? If not lately, when was it the most ever?
Last reflection: Psalm 4:8 is a verse I first encountered in a little book of Bible verses and illustrations for my baby girl. Reading it to her, I began to appreciate this verse so much. Getting to sleep can be a challenge for some more than others, but all of us can affirm that it is God who makes us to dwell in safety. I’d like a mug with that verse on it, to drink my evening cup of tea before bed! Maybe I’ll have to visit one of those paint-your-own-pottery stores and design one. In the meantime, if you see what I have in mind, please send a picture or link in the comments.
All thanks and praise to God!