A psalm of David.
1 Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
The purpose of starting my study in the psalms twenty years ago was to help improve my prayer life. This started the process of reading five psalms a day and letting them speak to me as I poured my heart out to God, just as David does in a lot of his psalms. This psalm is an example of a simple pray. This prayer starts out with the request for God to answer his prayers. Here David is requesting relief from his distress. As you read verse one and look at David’s requests, “answer me when I call to you, give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer” reveals that this was a prayer that came from a hurting man. Verse two reveals that the distress David is referring to in verse one is from men that are trying to destroy David’s character. When you study David’s life it is not a study of how God rewards the godly as they live a righteous life on this earth, but it is a reflection on the struggle between the two walks (way of the righteous and the way of the wicked) on this earth. This struggle is also the struggle we face as we are sojourners on this earth. When David was running from Saul, he was forced to give up relationships with those who were close to him such as his wife (Saul even gave Micah to another man), his family, and his closest friend (Jonathan). As these events of rejection happened in David life they also happen in the life of Christ as well as in your life today. However, verses three, four, and five gives us an insight to handle ourselves when we are experiencing these events in our life. First know that God has set the godly apart for himself. This means that in times of trouble we do not seek to right the wrong, but instead focus on becoming godly. This is only done by becoming more Christ-like in our walk on this earth. Second, we need to know that God will take care of us just as he did Joseph. Joseph’s life serves as a great example of how even when we are wronged by others God is still in control. And last of all we must be continually in a state of self-examination. As David states here search your heart and be silent. God will speak to you in these dark times things that you will not be able to share even those who are very close to you. By following these principals, we like David will have great joy in our hearts and will be able to lie down and sleep in peace.
As I study David’s life, I realize how much of his life was guided by one principal and that was by staying in God’s Word. As one studies the Bible in a spirit of self- examination the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more of God’s ways to us. By reading these psalms daily and seeking to walk in his ways we will experience joys that this world can’t give.