God, the Source of Our Goodness | Psalm 4:6–8

          There are many who say, “Who will show us some good?
            Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!”
          You have put more joy in my heart
            than they have when their grain and wine abound.
          In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
            for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

The heart of the true worshipper moving through this psalm softens.  Troubles causes us to cry out (v. 1), but we are called to submission to the Lord’s authority (vv. 2–3).  We consider and repent of our sins in the night (v. 4) and believe in the gospel (v. 5).  Now, we see the subjective joy the believer experiences.

The source of true blessing is the Lord shining His glorious light upon us.  People let us down, and idols can’t deliver.  So, David asks the Lord for divine illumination (cf. Nm 6:24–26).  He seems to understand on some level that, if one is to truly experience the goodness of the Lord, God must shine the light of the gospel (2 Cor 4:6).  As James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”

Understand that we don’t see here a command for men; the Lord must put joy in hearts.  In fact, we see the joy of the Lord is greater than the joy that comes from material wealth.  It’s not wrong to praise God for His providence in temporal blessings (cf. Isa 9:3; Jer 48:33), but the joy of the Lord should be greater than all the blessings of earth. As Galatians 5:22 says, a fruit of the Spirit is joy, for He fills the heart with it (Jn 16:24; Rm 15:13).  True blessing can only come from Him.

This blessing can even grant a good night’s sleep amid heartache.  As the day ends, we can lie down and gain the full night’s rest because of what the Lord does.  No number of foes can rob sleep from the eyes of those trusting in the Lord.  Indeed, neither “death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rm 8:38–39). 

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