David prays for audience, 1. He reproves and exhorts his enemies, 2-5. Man's happiness is in God's favor, 6-8.
1 [To the Chief Musician on Neginoth. A Psalm of David.] Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness. You have enlarged me when I was in distress. Have mercy upon me and hear my prayer.
2 O sons of men, how long will you turn my glory into shame? How long will you love vanity and seek after falsehood? [Selah.]
3 But know that the LORD has set apart him who is godly for himself. The LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 Stand in awe and do not sin. Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still. [Selah.]
5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the LORD.
6 There are many who say, "Who will show us any good?" LORD, lift upon us the light of your countenance.
7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the time when their grain and their wine increased.
8 I will both lay myself down in peace and sleep, for you only, LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 4[➚]
John Calvin's Chapter Summary:
After David in the beginning of the psalm has prayed to God to help him, he immediately turns his discourse to his enemies, and depending on the promise of God, triumphs over them as a conqueror. He, therefore, teaches us by his example, that as often as we are weighed down by adversity, or involved in very great distress, we ought to meditate upon the promises of God, in which the hope of salvation is held forth to us, so that defending ourselves by this shield, we may break through all the temptations which assail us.
[v.3] - "The LORD will hear when I call to him" - From John Calvin's Commentary: "Let this truth then, obtain a fixed place in our minds, that God will never withhold his assistance from those who go on sincerely in their course. Without this comfort, the faithful must inevitably sink into despondency every moment."
[v.4a] - LXX: "Be angry, and do not sin; feel compunction upon your beds for what you say in your hearts. [Pause.]"
[v.4b] - Quoted in Ephesians 4:26.
[v.8] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "Let us therefore, learn from [David's] example, to yield this honor to God—to believe, that although there may appear no help for us from men, yet under his hand alone we are kept in peace and safety, as if we were surrounded by a great host."