This is a plea and it makes me think of echos– calling out and hearing your own voice echoing back against the cavernous walls that surround you, or worse, hearing the mocking voice of an enemy and how that pit in your stomach grows as the sense of abandonment and loss grows with it.
Where are you God?
And instead of that peace, knowing God is there…the enemy creeps in and answers. You fool. He mocks. God isn’t there. Why would he be there for you when you rarely make time for him? He’s left you. Abandoned you. He doesn’t have time for you and your insignificant life. Those words echo in your mind as the the enemy builds the foundation of his stronghold on your heart–a lie forged in that shadow of doubt that God has left you and isn’t there when you need him. That echo in the dark cave.
You are alone.
You have to do this alone.
It is up to you alone.
Alone, alone, alone.
That echo, that deception is wrong. It is a lie and it can be destroyed. Verse 3 rips it down with–KNOW THAT THE LORD SET APART THE GODLY FOR HIMSELF AND WILL HEAR WHEN I CALL TO HIM.
God hears. Always. And if he hears, he is there. Always. He never promised a life of peace or free from trials or that we will even be given a ‘fair lot’. But he does promise his comfort, his joy and his peace.
The psalmist is wise. He knows what this abandonment can lead to, which I believe is why verse 4 urges action against sinning in anger. When the world seems to have turned on us, we often rebel against the world, but Jesus told us to love the world. To love those who hate us, just as he did. He died for those who killed him. It’s easy to love our friends and family–but to love the haters?
Taylor Swift was right, haters are always gonna hate, but we have a choice. We can be more like Jesus and live with an attitude of forgiveness and love. Or we can be a hater too. Which would tear down the strongholds in our lives more readily? Which would set us free?
We are children of the light, the deceptions are darkness, so whenever they come we must ask God to let his light shine in us and on us to get rid of those dark and hard places. It’s the only way out of the cave of echoes and into the land of the living where we will have peace and joy.
So while Psalm 4 begins with this echo, it is really a psalm of great direction for how to receive great joy. How to get rid of that stronghold of doubt, fear and rejection and step into the light.
To dwell in safety
Because the Lord is there, and he loves you.
Always, always, always.
Questions to Ponder:
1) What strongholds do I need to pray for deliverance from?
2) Am I letting the dark cancel out God’s light?
3) How can I show others the way to freedom?