Psalm 4 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Psalm 4)

Verse 1

[1] Hear 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.

O God — The witness and defender of my righteous cause.

Verse 2

[2] O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? /*Selah*/.

My glory — By his glory probably he means that honour which God had conferred upon him.

Vanity — Wickedness.

Lying — Those calumnies which they raised against him, to make him odious to all the people.

Verse 3

[3] But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.

Godly — Me, whom, though you traduce as an hypocrite, God hath pronounced to he a man after his own heart, 1 Samuel 13:14.

For himself — In his stead, or to be his vicegerent, as all kings are, and especially the kings of God's own people.

Verse 4

[4] Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. /*Selah*/.

In awe — Be afraid, if not of me, yet of God, who hath engaged in my cause.

Sin not — By prosecuting your rebellion against God's authority.

On your bed — Calmly consider these things in the silent night, when you are at leisure from distracting business.

Be still — Compose your tumultuous minds.

Verse 5

[5] Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD.

Offer — Unto God, that he may be reconciled to you.

Righteousness — Righteous sacrifices; which requires that the persons offering them be righteous and do righteous things, and offer them with an honest mind, with faith and true repentance. Without which, he intimates, that all their sacrifices were of no esteem with God, and would be wholly unprofitable to them.

Verse 6

[6] There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

Many — Of my followers, who are weary of waiting upon God.

Who — Who will put an end to our troubles, and give us tranquility.

Lift up — Upon me and my friends. Give us an assurance of thy love, and evidence it by thy powerful assistance.

Verse 7

[7] Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

Thou hast — Whatsoever thou shalt do with me for the future, I have at present unspeakable satisfaction in the testimonies of thy love to my soul; more than worldly persons have in the time of a plentiful harvest.

Verse 8

[8] I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.

In peace — In tranquility of mind, resting securely upon God's promises.