Psalms Chapter 4

Psalms Chapter 4 #Prayer  #Eveningprayer #TalkingtoGod #TrustingGod #StandInAwe

Historical and theology information about the book of Psalms.

The Authorship of the Psalms

Of the 150 psalms all but 34 have titles of some sort. Of the 116 titles, 100 might indicate authorship, often along with other information.

  • Moses—1 psalm (Psalm 90)
  • David—73 psalms (mostly in Books I and II)
  • Solomon—2 psalms (Psalms 72127)
  • Asaph—12 psalms (Psalms 5073-83)
  • Sons of Korah—10 psalms (Psalms 4244-4984-85875
  • Heman, the Ezrahite—1 psalm (Psalm 88)
  • Ethan, the Ezrahite—1 psalm (Psalm 89)

The titles that might indicate authorship have the Hebrew preposition lamed prefixed to the names in question. The ambiguity of the preposition complicates the issue because it can signify “of,” “to,” “for,” or other options. It could signify authorship, dedicated to a person, or belonging to a collection. There is nothing about these citations, however, that precludes their indication of authorship. In fact the New Testament (NT) use of various psalms confirms Davidic authorship of a number of psalms. It simply is not something about which we can be dogmatic without indications from other passages. (MRG 2011, 522).

The literature of the Old Testament (OT) can be divided into two categories 1. The largest portion falls into the category of “divine revelation from God” (MRG 534). 2. A lesser portion of the OT has no divine revelation and are created works by human beings. The palms fall into category number two (ibid). The psalms demonstrate both the “vertical and horizontal” relationships between people and their God and vice-a-versa.  The book of Psalms does not delineate “doctrine! The palms affirm the relationship between God and his people and include various genres(ibid). The writers of the psalms confirm the sovereignty of God and his sovereign rule over the entire universe. The psalmist set forth the Lord as king of the universe, who is establishing His just rule on the earth in and through His people (ibid).

According to Grisanti, three categories require consideration as one synthesizes the theology of the Psalms:

  • the great King (the suzerain),
  • mankind (His vassals),
  • and the relationship between the two (God’s rule). (MRG 534).

What Kind of Psalm is this? I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: [This statement by the psalmist indicates that this is a prayer said by the author of the Psalm] for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.”

(AUTHOR OF THE PSALM: To the chief Musician on Neginoth [stringed instrument], A Psalm of David.) 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. 

According to Strong’s Concordance Neginoth means the following:

Strong’s Concordance
neginah or neginath: music

Original Word: נְגִינַת
Part of Speech: Noun Feminine
Transliteration: neginah or neginath
Phonetic Spelling: (neg-ee-naw’)
Short Definition: song

NAS Exhaustive Concordance

Word Origin
from nagan
Definition
music
NASB Translation
music (1), song (3), stringed instruments (2), taunt (1).

David as the King of Israel assigned specific people to lead the worship experiences of the nation of Israel. 1 Chronicles 6:31-32  (CEV) “After King David had the sacred chest moved to Jerusalem, he appointed musicians from the Levi tribe to be in charge of the music at the place of worship.  These musicians served at the sacred tent and later at the Lord’s temple that King Solomon built.” 1 Chronicles 25:1 (CEV) “David and the temple officials chose the descendants of Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun to be in charge of music. They were to praise the Lord by playing cymbals, harps and other stringed instruments. Here is a list of the musicians and their duties:” Read the rest of the Chapter David knew that when he was in distress “thou hast enlarged [God the Father made room for him] me when I was in distress;” He could call on God and he KNEW that he would hear him. Similarly, when we call on our Heavenly Father we know that we know that He hears and answers our prayers.

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.

David differentiates for us who he is talking to. “O ye sons of men.” They could not have been believers in The Eternal like David. See 2 Timothy 3:2-4; Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:6  Believers do not love vanity and seek after lies. Strong’s definition for the work translated leasing is:

  • Pronounce: kaw-zawb’
  • Strong: H3577
  • Orig: from 3576; falsehood; literally (untruth) or figuratively (idol):–deceitful, false, leasing, + liar, lie, lyingH3576
  • Use: TWOT-970a Noun Masculine
  • Grk Strong: G95 G3152 G5571 G5579 G5583
    1) a lie, untruth, falsehood, deceptive thing

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

David iterated why he knew that YHWH heard him when he called. 1 Peter 2:9 (CEV) explains David’s thoughts. But you are God’s chosen and special people. You are a group of royal priests and a holy nation. God has brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Now you must tell all the wonderful things that he has done. The Scriptures say,” and  Revelation 17:14 (CEV) ….. His followers are chosen and special and faithful.” John 14:13 (CEV) [solidifies David’s statement for the NT church and the church today.]” Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father.”

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.

The psalteradvises the reader to stand in awe of what The King of Kings will do and not doubt Him because doubting Him is sin.  We  have already learned from the Proverbs that the “fear/awe of the Lord if the beginning of wisdom, knowledge and understanding”Habakkuk  was astonished at the prophecy that the Lord delivered to him. His Response to God’s MessageWhen I heard this message, I felt weak from fear, and my lips quivered. My bones seemed to melt,and I stumbled around. But I will patiently wait. [Or in today’s vernacular “chill-out!”] Someday those vicious enemieswill be struck by disaster” (3:16 CEV). “commune with your own heart upon your bed” talk to yourself and follow Psalm 46:10 (NIV) “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. Trust Him and know that it is indeed well with your soul!

6There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.

The psalter ends this Psalm by declaring that he knows who will “show us any good.” He acknowledges that although he lives in a dark world his relationship with “the light” makes his heart glad. So glad that it is better than harvest time and the time of the new wine. See John 8:12; John 11:10;John 12:35;1 John 1:7

 

References

Merrill, Eugene H., Mark F. Rooker, and Michael A. Grisanti. 2011. The world and the word: An introduction to the old testament. Nashville, Tenn: B & H Academic.

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