Bedtime Psalm for Meditation: In Peace I Will Lie Down–Psalm 4
2 Answer me when I call, my saving God.
When troubles hem me in, set me free;
take pity on me, hear my prayer.
3 How long, O people, will you be hard of heart?
Why do you love what is worthless, chase after lies?
4 Know that the Lord works wonders for his faithful one;
the Lord hears when I call out to him.
5 Tremble and sin no more;
weep bitterly within your hearts,
wail upon your beds,
6 Offer fitting sacrifices
and trust in the Lord.
7 Many say, “May we see better times!
Lord, show us the light of your face!”
8 But you have given my heart more joy
than they have when grain and wine abound.
9 In peace I will lie down and fall asleep,
for you alone, Lord, make me secure.
When King David found himself in great distress, there was but one thing to do: pray to his “saving God” in confidence (v 2). The psalmist knew full well, after years of personal experience walking with Him, that God would hear and answer him (v 2). He knew that it was God alone who could deliver him from trial and suffering.
Psalm 4 is an individual lament (passionate plea of grief or sorrow) which emphasizes one’s total trust in God. Because of David’s close relationship and understanding of the Lord, he had a strong warning (command) for the wicked (‘those who love what is worthless and chase after lies’; v. 3) — a warning which, by the way, stands true even today: ‘Revere (i.e. respect, honor, worship) God, for He will undoubtedly and powerfully intervene on behalf of His faithful (v 3-6).
The last verse of this psalm repeats two major themes. One is the security of those who trust in the one, true God; the other is the interior peace of those who sincerely repent (“on their beds”), whose sleep will not be disturbed by a guilty conscience. This is why Psalm 4 is a favorite to read and meditate on before bedtime.
If you’ve been struggling with anxiousness, stress and/or worried thoughts lately, do as the psalmist did and finish your day by conducting a full examination of conscious — a full review of the days events. Humbly repent for any sin brought to your attention, lay all your fears, requests and petitions before Him, and then thank Him for all He’s done (and continues to do) for you and your loved ones (v 7-8). One thing is clear throughout Scripture: God loves to bless a faithful, repentant (humble) and thankful heart before Him.