Friday Devo – Psalm 4

I recently began sending the students in CSF a brief reflection on a Psalm each Friday.  My hope is that it will provide them with some motivation to read scripture.  I have enjoyed meditating on the Psalms, and I look forward to taking the next few years to get through them all!  I decided it might be worthwhile to post the weekly devos here, so if you happen to read this, I pray it is helpful.  Enjoy.

Psalm 4:

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David.
      1 Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
      2 How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?

I resonate with David’s distress here.  This week we’ve experienced another mass shooting in a school.  It distresses me to kiss my wife goodbye when she heads off to the high school she teaches at.  I am distressed when I hug my daughter as she gets on the bus.  I imagine parents all over the country have experienced this the last few days.

I do not claim to have any answers or to know what the government should or should not do.  As a person of faith, I do question my fellow Christians though, as I have long thought the number one sin of Christians in our nation is love of  violence.  While Jesus calls us to take up our cross, lay down our lives, and follow him, follow him, we seek safety through blaming and scapegoating others.  While Jesus calls us to respond to violence with peace, to turn the other cheek and give to whomever asks, we vow to protect our lives and our stuff with weapons of death.

We like that Jesus forgives us our sins and promises us life with God after death, but we don’t seem interested in following his teachings in our daily life.

Ares (Mars) was the god of war in the ancient world.  Jesus is the Prince of Peace.  Do we who claim Jesus as our Lord live in ways that point more to Mars?

Again, I am not speaking of what the government should do and what the law should be.  I’m wondering what difference it may make in the world if we Christians sought to live like Jesus.

3 Know that the LORD has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the LORD hears when I call to him.

      4 Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the LORD.
      6 Many, LORD, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
Let the light of your face shine on us.
7 Fill my heart with joy
when their grain and new wine abound.
      8 In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, LORD,
make me dwell in safety.
Once again, I do not claim to have answers or solutions for the government (and they’re not asking me anyway).  My concern, as a man of faith and a pastor, is how Christians live.  Do we seek peace and safety in..in what?  As David notes, “you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.”  Peace and safety do not come in any way apart from God the Father and his son, Jesus Christ.

My hope is that this trust in Jesus will overcome my distress.

How do you overcome the stress and distress of life?

Do you think violence is a false god for American Christians?

What do you cling to that you hope will provide safety and peace – education? intelligence? muscles? guns? parents? government? Jesus?

May God bring peace to you this weekend

Published by davehershey

My life is quite simple really. I love my wife Emily and my kids, Junia and Elijah. I serve in campus ministry at Penn State Berks. I enjoy life.

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