Plenty of things can provide temporal happiness, but only one can bring eternal joy.
David had been through so many difficult times in his life; he knew the power of God’s rescuing ability. Whenever he remembered God’s activity in his life, he reoriented his joy was to the proper place.
Read Psalm 4:1-8 and notice the progression of David’s delight.
4 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.
In times of trouble, David prayed to God for deliverance (4:1-3), committed to obeying God during the process (4:4-5), maintained God as the greater joy (4:6-7), and rested in God until the situation was resolved (4:8). Can you say the same? Fill out the information below to help you process your next steps.
As I read this psalm, I’m flooded with critical questions:
- What am I praying for God to do?
- What disobedience am I tempted to justify?
- Is there something providing more joy than God?
- Am I trusting in his response and timing?
David said that God had put more joy in his heart “than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Ps. 4:7). God is the greater joy than any joy this world has to offer. I love when the Bible makes it practical.
God is better than the most delectable meal or the most satisfying drink.
He is better than any meal. He is more addictive than any type of booze. He is not a killjoy but the bringer of joy. Delighting in God based upon the opportunity is remarkably different than associating with God due to an obligation.
Many people love to revel in the joys that grain and wine provide, but they fail to compare to the joy that God gives.
Too many of us fail to see God as satisfying. He is not the cosmic hall monitor. He is the eternal joy-giver. This course is not hard to swallow. You shouldn’t have to persuade yourself to eat from this table again. You should find such satisfaction that you struggle to contemplate another course again.
Is God the greatest joy of your life? What other “table” do you continue to frequent?