The instructions of the Bible is that we are to “be angry and sin not”…
God’s Calm Assurance
“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests His head at night, giving perfect peace.”
— Charles H. Spurgeon
Life should be lived with the assurance of God’s sovereignty, knowing that He rules over everything for His glory.
Even when it seems as if the ungodly have dominated the scene, believers should remember that God has chosen the godly for Himself and will not forsake them.
This is the central message of Psalm 4, a song that provides a Godward focus in the midst of life’s storms.
Often called “the Evening Psalm,” this “psalm of David” was a prayer of trust offered to God at the close of a long, trouble-filled day.
Many interpreters believe that Psalms 3 and 4 once formed a single unit.
The third psalm was a prayer expressed in the early morning (3:5), and the fourth psalm was to be offered up to God in the evening (4:8).
If this connection exists, the background of Psalm 4 is the same as Psalm 3—the revolt of Absalom against David (cp. 2 Sam. 15-18).
The superscription reads, “For the director of music,” a title directing the worship leader during the public worship service.
As this psalm was sung, it was to be accompanied “with stringed instruments,” the harp and lyre acting as an orchestra.
This psalm expresses the psalmist’s confidence in God during an hour of desperate need.
The psalmist could rest secure because God reigned supreme.
Read Psalm 4:
Read Psalm 4:4-5
in the Expanded Bible:
4 When you ·are angry [are disturbed; tremble], do not sin.
·Think about these things [Meditate; Speak to your heart] quietly
·as you go to bed [on your bed]. ·Selah [Interlude]
5 ·Do what is right as a sacrifice to the Lord [Sacrifice right/righteous sacrifices]
and trust the Lord.
David’s Request (4:1)
In the midst of persecution, David called upon God for relief, asking the Lord to bring repentance to his enemies and divine favor to his supporters.
4:1-8 This psalm may have been written as David was asking his enemies to reconsider their support of Absalom.
It was probably written shortly after Psalm 3 was.
4:4 How quickly anger springs up when we are falsely accused, opposed, or ignored.
The greater the cause or the higher the principle involved, the more likely we are to be outraged.
In these situations, David says to take a time-out and reconsider quietly, not to lash out.
Constrain your anger until you can respond in a way that speaks truth while also honoring God.
4:5 Worship in David’s day included animal sacrifices by the priests in the Tabernacle.
An animal’s blood covered the sins of the person who offered the animal.
Specific rules had been given for offering sacrifices, but more important to God than ceremony was the offerer’s attitude of submission and obedience (1 Samuel 15:22-23).
Though we no longer sacrifice animals, sacrifices of our time, resources, and energy offered in the right spirit are still pleasing to God.
However, He wants our obedience and our praise before our gifts (Hebrews 13:15).
Offer God your sacrifice of total obedience and heartfelt praise.
Two kinds of joy are contrasted here—joy that comes from knowing and trusting God, and joy that comes as a result of pleasant circumstances.
Both are good, but the joy that comes from a deep relationship with God is strong and steady and can’t be shaken.
There is nothing wrong with being happy about pleasant circumstances (for example, a family gathered around a table with plenty of good food).
But pleasant circumstances are unpredictable; they come and go.
And when they go, can you still be happy?
Can you still have that strong and steady joy that defeats discouragement?
Make sure you have the kind of joy in the Lord that is lasting, and then you can be happy no matter what circumstances come your way.
What does it mean to “be angry and do not sin” (Psalm 4:4)?
Psalm 4 is a psalm of trust written by David.
The psalm is brief, only eight verses (nine, including the Hebrew ascription “for the choir director, on stringed instruments, a Psalm of David”).
The psalm is written in three sections with a “selah” (a marker for a pause or musical interlude) at the end of verses 2 and 4.
In the second short section, David sings, “Tremble and do not sin” (Psalm 4:4, NASB) or, as the ESV puts it, “Be angry and do not sin.”
The Hebrew word translated in the ESV as “be angry” is ragaz, and it can mean “to be disturbed or agitated.”
David recognizes there are legitimate causes to be agitated but cautions against going so far as to be sinful.
In the New Testament, Paul quotes from Psalm 4:4 while giving instructions on Christian living in Ephesians 4:26.
David calls out for God to hear him as God has done before (Psalm 4:1).
David seems to be concerned about men who are mistreating him in falsehood (Psalm 4:2).
David affirms his confidence in God as having set apart the godly person and hearing him when he calls out to Him (Psalm 4:3).
So, one can be bothered—or even angry—and yet, because the godly person knows that God hears and delivers, that anger should not extend to sinfulness (Psalm 4:4).
In the same way, David calls to the hearer to meditate (on God’s faithfulness) quietly in the night and to be still (Psalm 4:5).
In the final and longest section of the psalm, after reminding the hearer to “be angry and do not sin,” David exhorts that we should “offer right sacrifices, and put [our] trust in the LORD” (Psalm 4:5, ESV).
Because of that trust in the Lord, the godly person never needs to fret about wrongdoers.
Even when others are not showing us good, God shines His light on us (Psalm 4:6).
He is the one who puts gladness in our hearts even more than having plenty (Psalm 4:7).
We rest peacefully in the night because of Him (Psalm 4:8).
This psalm is, among other things, a helpful reminder that we can “be angry and do not sin.”
We may be upset, but we do not need to be overcome with anger, because we trust in Him.
Paul later quotes Psalm 4:4 (translating the Hebrew ragaz with the Greek orgizo, indicating that the term angry is an accurate rendering), reminding believers that anger is acceptable if it does not extend to sin.
Paul also puts an important time limit on anger, as he says, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26, ESV).
David’s song was seemingly to be sung at night, as it focused on God’s provision good rest because of our trust in the Lord, and Paul challenges his readers not to take anger to bed with them.
While David’s words appeal to the heart, Paul’s are more an appeal to the intellect, but they are providing the same prescription: don’t end your day overcome with anger, but rather have confidence in the Lord.
Anger and faith are mutually exclusive ideas, as the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20).
God is trustworthy, and anything that might bother us to the point of anger can be given to Him. We can trust Him to handle it.
(From Got Questions – S. Michael Houdmann)
Friday, Sept 16
Living Free Everyday
I’M NOT ANGRY!:
CHOOSE YOUR RESPONSE
by Larry Heath
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
— Psalm 19:14 NLT
Thoughts for the Day
Part of making anger your servant instead of your master involves making choices.
Make choices about how you will respond when those feelings of anger are rising up in you.
Choose to keep your words and your attitude pleasing to the Lord. And ask God to help you do that.
A good place to start is to examine how you are expressing anger now and then prayerfully overcoming the negative responses with positive ones.
Think of the people in your life: spouse, children, parents, employer, coworkers, friends, and others.
Have you expressed anger to any of them recently? How? By holding it back?
By expressing it indirectly? By expressing it directly?
In each instance, how did they respond to your expression of anger?
What can you do to make your expression of anger healthier and more productive?
Set some goals and ask God to help you meet them.
Consider This . . .
Use these scriptures and others like them to guide you in your goal setting:
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1 NLT
Gentle words are a tree of life; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:4 NLT
There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.
Proverbs 29:20 NLT
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.
Proverbs 12:16 NLT
Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Colossians 3:13 NLT
“Do to others as you would like them to do to you.”
Luke 6:31 NLT
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 NLT
“But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!”
Matthew 5:44 NLT
Father, help me be more aware of how I am expressing my anger. Give me the wisdom and strength to make right choices. I pray that anger will be my servant, not my master, and that I will use anger only for God’s glory.
In Jesus’ name.
Come join the Adventure!