You are not Forsaken or Forgotten
Category : General
Psalm 4: 1 (KJV)
1Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
No man has a right to expect God to hear him if he does not call. Indeed, how shall he be heard if he does not speak? There are multitudes who expect the blessings of God as confidently as if they had prayed for them most fervently; and yet such people pray not at all.
This Psalms opens with prayer, then an address showing the folly, as well as danger, of pursuing vanity; the close of the Psalm determines that the happiness of man must be alone found in the favor of God. When I pray. The word “hear” in such cases is always used in the sense of “listen to,” “hear favorably,” or “attend to;” hence, in the literal sense it is always true that God “hears” all that is said. The meaning is, “hear and answer me,” or grant me what I ask. The “my God” is here rendered more definite, by an additional word. The Psalmist indicates that he expected help, not on account of any partial predilection entertained for him by God, but from his God being the Righteous One, who could not but afford aid to His righteous cause. In this he supplies a rule for every prayer in like extremities. To beg help, without being able thus to designate God, is equivalent to blasphemy. For, instead of wishing God to act according to His nature, one then wishes Him to deny His nature.
This is the dual petition which is the burden of this chapter. Note that the worshipper does not plead any merit or worthiness of his own but bases his petition upon the mercy of God. In these words, there is shown the faith of David, who, although brought to the uttermost distress, and indeed almost consumed by a long series of calamities, did not sink under his sorrow; nor was he so broken in heart as to be prevented from betaking himself to God his deliverer. By his praying, he testified, that when utterly deprived of all earthly succor, there yet remained for him hope in God. Moreover, he calls Him the God of his righteousness, which is the same thing as if he had called Him the Vindicator of his right; and he appeals to God, because all men everywhere condemned him, and his innocence was borne down by the slanderous reports of his enemies and the perverse judgments of the common people. And this cruel and unjust treatment which David met with, ought to be carefully marked. For while nothing is more painful to us than to be falsely condemned, and to endure, at one and the same time, wrongful violence and slander; yet to be ill spoken of for doing well, is an affliction which daily befalls the saints. And it becomes them to be so exercised under it as to turn away from all the enticements of the world, and to depend wholly upon God alone.
“The church, like David,” says Dr. Horne, and, we may add, every true member thereof, “calls aloud for God’s assistance; addresses Him as the God of her righteousness, as the fountain of pardon and grace. This reminds us of that spiritual liberty, and enlargement from bondage, which God has purchased for her, and oftentimes wrought in her; and conscious of her demerit, makes her prayer for mercy.” The Christian has an equally great joy. He can say that Christ has been made to him righteousness, that we have been ‘made the righteousness of God in Him’ (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). This is a strong reminder that no matter what we are going through, we are never alone. Though God may seem distant, He is always near.
Have a Great and God filled Day