O God of My Righteousness
“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!”
– Psalm 4:1
In reading Psalm 4, it feels like we are invited into an intimate conversation between David and the Lord. David comes to the Lord in confidence. He remembers God’s faithfulness to him in times past. That faithfulness of God is an anchor for David’s soul. The conversation begins from that place of security and confidence.
David’s request is that God not only hear him but answer him. David lives as a man dependent upon the Lord. That dependence is exemplified in his beautiful words: “O God of my righteousness.”
Though he was quite accomplished in the world and highly acclaimed by many, David did not find his righteousness through his works or his status. David knew he was a man who was made righteous by God alone.
Behind the great man was an even greater God. God worked in David what he could never work in himself – righteousness. David knew himself. He knew he was a sinner who fell short of the glory of God. But David looked beyond himself to the only who was truly holy and righteous. In God, David found a righteousness that exceeded himself and that grounded him.
What confidence David could experience in the face of adversity! From this confidence, David would begin a lament. David would lament over those who opposed him and over those who did not seek the Lord or seek to live in obedience to the Lord. David never downplayed his challenges or heartaches. Instead, he brought himself vulnerably and authentically before the Lord: Lord, you have brought relief in the past; bring that relief again. How desperately I need your grace! In that grace Lord, listen and answer my cries to you.
David’s intimate conversation with the Lord models what our conversations can be. The Lord longs to hear our hearts, our needs, and our laments. He wants to know us, to truly know us. The Lord would have us learn from this prayer of David, how to remember his faithfulness and how to make his past faithfulness a foundation of trust for his future faithfulness. We humans are far too quick to forget what God has done on our behalf and to become consumed with ourselves, our problems, and our many laments.
May we learn from David what it means to bring our authentic selves to the Lord in prayer, and may we learn the value of remembering God’s faithfulness in our past so that we can look expectantly to his work in our present and future.Reflection:
Do you enjoy this intimate kind of conversation with the Lord? How could remembering God’s faithfulness be an anchor for your soul today?
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