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Psalm 4: God's Spiritual Sleeping Pill

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.


Psalm 4 is a short psalm of only eight verses. Within those verses, David gives powerful points for those who need it when they cannot fall to sleep at night. David poured out his complaint against enemies who falsely accused him and finds peace and refuge in God.

Therefore, it is advised to read Psalm 4 at any time but especially during the midnight hour instead of tossing and turning.

The world says to count sheep to fall asleep. The Bible says to focus on the Shepherd in order to get that good night rest that you deserve.


Verse 1:David Talks to God

"Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer."

The psalmist talks to God in the first verse. That is a good way to start whenever you are in distress. Talk to God about it before talking to others.

David remembers his track record with God. Therefore, he uses what God has done for him in the past in order to be confident that God will help him at the present time. The psalmist knows he can rely on God. That's why he calls God righteous and asks Him to give him relief this time while he is in distress.

If you carefully read the first verse of Psalm 4, you can't help but see that David requests four things from God.

  1. An answer to this particular prayer
  2. Relief from his distress
  3. Mercy on him
  4. His prayer heard

Verse 2: David Talks to His Enemies

"How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?"

David now asks his enemies a couple of questions because they are trying to ruin his reputation and make him look bad. By asking those two questions, he is letting the wicked know he is aware of what they are doing against him.

Enemies will always accuse the righteous and try to turn their glory into shame. People love delusions and seek false gods. Be aware of the tactics of your enemies like David was.

Verse 3: What David Wants His Enemies to Know

"Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him."

David knows something his enemies might not be aware of. He tells them that the Lord has set him apart because he is a faithful servant. Then he makes the assertion that God hears when he calls to Him.

In other words, David is putting his enemies in their place by telling them that God is on his side and there is nothing they can do to make him doubt God.

Verse 4: David Talks to Himself

"Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still."

First, David talks to God. Next, he talks to his enemies. Now in Verse 4, David is talking to himself. In this verse, he tells himself one thing not to do and three things to do. Do not sin is the one thing the psalmist advises. The three things to do include the following:

  1. Be angry.
  2. Meditate within your heart on your bed.
  3. Be still.

It is acceptable to be angry about things, but don't let the anger cause you to sin. Instead of fuming and fussing over what people do to you, meditate in your heart when you go to bed. If you do that and be still, peace will come to you.

Verse 5: Do Two Things

"Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord."

In Verse 5, David knew that religious observance such as offering sacrifices was important, but it did not take the place of his personal trust in God. However, the two could be combined to please God. One did not cancel out the other requirement.

Verse 6: A Lighted Face

"Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?” Let the light of your face shine on us."

It is a common habit of enemies to tell the downtrodden that God has left them. Enemies try to convince the righteous that God no longer cares about them.

It is a common theme throughout the 73 psalms that David wrote. His enemies try to make him doubt that God is with him in trouble. In other words, they are asking where have your righteousness and trust in God gotten you.

David asks God to let others see the light shining on the righteous.

Verse 7: A Heart Full of Joy

"Fill my heart with joy when their grain and new wine abound."

The psalmist asks God for joy. He wants to be filled with joy when his enemies receive grain and new wine at harvest time.


Verse 8: Sleep Assured

"In peace I will lie down and sleep for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety."

David finds safety with God. Therefore, he could lie down and sleep because his safety is from the Lord and not from his circumstances. It wasn't sheep or anything else that caused him to go to sleep in peace. It was the Lord alone who helped the psalmist go from distress to peace in just eight verses.


The next time you have a problem falling to sleep at night, read Psalm 4. It will surely bring you comfort so you can fall asleep no matter what your situation is.

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