Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 20, 2013

The Return Call (Psalm 4)

The Return Call (Psalm 4)

My mother did not understand voicemail. In those days it was an answering machine. You older folks remember those. “Hello it’s your mother! You there? Pick up! Hello! hello! hello! Pick up! Hello! Hello! Are you there?” There would be three minutes of that and then the beep at the end of the message. But there never was a message. There never was a reason for the call until I called her back. And then it was usually to see what I had eaten that day and if I had gone to the bathroom. And this was when I was a grown man.

That’s the kind of call David is making in Psalm 4. He’s calling out to God for help. “Hello? GOD? Pick up! Hello? Hello?” And it’s as if he’s holding the phone with one hand and pushing away attackers with the other. They are calling David’s good evil and giving him long-winded arguments trying to convince him that their evil is good and his good is evil. You may have experienced this if you ever tried to show an abortion supporter why killing babies is wrong.

David tells these evil men to quiver, to shake, to rage all they want but not sin. This is translated to “be angry but not sin”, and that’s one kind of trembling but it can be any kind of agitation. Being upset is not an excuse for sin.

The alternative, as David points out, is to set your mind on the greatness of GOD. Think about how great He is and tremble at that, in awe and delight, and it will stop your shaking from frustration.
David says to offer right sacrifices to GOD and we know from elsewhere in Scripture that is a sacrifice of praise from a grateful heart for GOD saving us. And it is also tied to blessing others however we can because of the love of GOD in our hearts.

David says that those seeking for good in Life will find it only in GOD, seeking His Face, relationship with Him on His own terms.

We never hear GOD pick up the phone. But we know because of David’s psalm that GOD will answer. David says that God has answered before and can be trusted to answer again. David can lay down and sleep in safety in spite of the attacks that had him call on GOD in the first place. He knows God will answer his prayer.

We may not like the analogy of voicemail to GOD. We may think He always answers immediately and we never need to leave a message. And there are problems with any illustration. But there are many instances throughout Scripture of peace coming before recognizing it as an answer from GOD. GOD’s return call may not be recognized immediately.

We will read later that an angel tells the prophet Daniel many years after David that Daniel’s prayers had been heard and well received immediately but that the angel had been held up for 21 days in spiritual battles on the way. JESUS Himself was comforted by angels when He asked the Father in Gethsemene if there were another way besides seperation from the Father to save us. He never got a direct answer other than remembering the Father’s faithfulness. And with that He knew that whatever the Father willed was good and right.

In Psalm 4, David is calmed by remembering GOD’s goodness while calling to GOD in panic and frustration for help. While others are satisfied with enough to eat (grain) and drink (wine) David’s satisfaction and contentment of heart from a living relationship with GOD are even more satisfying.

Are you waiting on an answer from God? Have you left Him voice mail? When we follow David’s advice we calm ourselves by thinking of GOD’s greatness. Knowing that GOD the Father has paid the price through Jesus Christ, GOD the Son, for us to have eternal life we know that we can trust Him in every circumstance. As the Apostle Paul said, since the Father already gave His only Begotten Son for us we can trust Him to give us all we need as well. JESUS used the bread of His Body and the wine of His Blood to make that promise of satisfaction beyond anything the world can experience. He gives us new hearts and the right sacrifice of praise for being saved from death and eternal torment away from the Father. We can rest and sleep in peace, even in the sleep of death, knowing that GOD protects us.

We may not realize it when we are in trouble until we take the time to call out to God. But our Heavenly Father has answered all of our cries for help in JESUS, His return call. All we need do is listen.

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