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Singing Psalm 4 to tap into unshakable security

If spoken truly, from a contrite heart that loves and honors God, and it seems there is no reason to think otherwise, these two sentences communicate utmost dependence, trust, and faith in the goodness of God‘s intentions and actions:

“It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.”

Eli responded this way after coaxing Samuel to tell him what the Lord said regarding the imminent death of both of his sons and the prophecy of doom concerning all of his posterity. Eli didn’t complain, as you might expect him to have, that it was too much for him as Cain said when God judged his actions as evil. Rather, he held his peace as Aaron did when his two sons died after offering unauthorized fire to the holy, triune God.

Singing Psalm 4 to reject self-interest for unshakable security

Eli surprises you by his lack of self interest. He did not respond according to his vantage point. He was disinterested in looking at it from the perspective of what the result would look like presently for him.

You don’t see him as religiously fatalistic but sincere as he trusts that the permanence of the judgment in this life is temporary when viewed with an eternal perspective. It was permanent for him only as it pertains to this life. He rejoiced in the Lord seeing past the fact that grain and new wine are not abundant, that there are now no figs on the tree or grapes on the vine. He was in it, hanging onto the Lord, for the long haul.

Eli taps into a prayer that Psalm 4 highlights and if you listen carefully you might hear him singing the Psalm with you. The light of the Lord’s face lifted him above his dire state. The Lord showed him his goodness in spite of his present judgment. That goodness was satisfying to his spirit and from a secure heart came words that conveyed an unshakable security despite the personal rebuke that came with far reaching but not everlasting consequences.

Whether what is happening right now looks great or awful to you, if the Lord brought it to pass and you love the Lord, you trust it is good. If it seems good to the Lord, it is for your unshakable security and that of all who love the Lord, regardless of how it looks at present.

The economy of the triune God is so different from ours in that his promises are as good as done. When he says he will restore all things and that all things work together for the good of those who love him, well, he cannot lie. So you can bank on it.

It’s like you going to the bank and asking for $1 million in cash letting them know that you will repay it in a week with interest, and they give it to you without question. Without signing any papers, you walk out with it. What that transaction says is that the bank trusts you without a doubt that you are a person of your word, that you cannot lie, and that they can expect to see the money back in their bank safe this time next week without a doubt. That’s how God deserves to be treated and what makes his promises so precious.

Rudyard Kipling adjures you in his famous poem “If” to treat those two imposters, triumph and disaster, just the same. We all have our felt realities but the true reality is somewhere in the vertical middle above the two. Triumphs lie to you because the thorns that surround them are hidden. Disasters lie to you because the hope that surrounds them is hidden. God calls into existence things that don’t exist. That is why your eyes are to be on him in triumphs, disasters, and when you don’t know what to do.

Eli doesn’t judge the situation based on the result or what’s in it for him. If you like the end result, then it was a good plan. If you don’t like it, then it was a bad plan. But that’s not how Eli thinks. His heart is sold out to the Lord because he thinks, wills, and decides with the Lord’s goodness as his basis. Because of who the Lord is, he looks to the Lord’s interest and not his own interest. He trusts his judgment as worthy, therefore the personal cost of that judgment to Eli is not worth it to him to even consider.

As he lets the Lord do what seems good to him, he’s obviously not giving the Lord permission to do what seems good to him. He is simply placing himself in agreement with the Lord without objections, without an internal fight, without quiet reservations where he is standing up on the inside in opposition to the Lord.

He knows who he is as a flawed but loved sinner. He knows who God is, righteous and holy, who conducts himself with steadfast love, faithfulness, loving kindness, and tender mercies. He knows he is flawed and doesn’t deserve God’s presence. He is thankful for the consideration of even God’s answer of rebuke and judgment. The Lord enables him to trust his goodness in spite of deadly things that are about to happen.

He supernaturally sees the Lord‘s goodness as unflappable, unwavering, impossible to thwart, no matter how bad it looks now from his vantage point. He takes the long view, understanding that his ultimate outcome is not based on his poor performance but on the Lord’s mercy, and he rests there.

O Lord, give us this kind of trust in you!

What trust is it that only exists when you like what you can see is happening at the moment?

One day, you will like it all because you will see how he has restored every evil thing into something very good. He will surely redeem every vile deed and repay the devil by destroying him, sin, and death.

Singing Psalm 4 to resist comparisons for unshakable security

Someone once described God’s electing grace in this way. He said, “Say you have a bunch of rotten bananas. You only need three to make banana bread. So you choose three and the rest go in the trash.” With the three he made something good.

It is true that we don’t contribute anything to our salvation and the bananas chosen had no special qualities. They were just like all the other rotten bananas in the bunch. The Lord doesn’t choose any of his people based on their relative goodness or badness compared to anyone else and doesn’t want you comparing yourself with others.

However, those he chooses, he has a relationship with. He doesn’t use them and consume them like banana bread, but he makes his home with them and makes them useful instruments in his hands to do untold numbers of good things. They ultimately will enjoy all things with him, although going through the process of learning to trust his unshakable security is not always enjoyable.

And so the rotten bananas illustration breaks down fairly quickly.

The Philistines celebrated thinking that they won, that their god, Dagon, was superior to the God of Israel. That is, until day after day, they found Dagon missing body parts and bowing prostrate before the ‘captured’ Ark of God. Over time, they were seeking advice on how to return the Ark and offered sacrifices to the triune God.

Comparing the outcome of your life with the outcome of others’ lives can skew your mind thinking as if the Holy Spirit does not have free reign to do with each one of us what seems good to him. This only focuses on the creature rather than on the creator. You think you know better how he ought to run each life and his universe. Eli’s unshakable security would have been severely shaken if he unfavorably compared his judgment from the Lord that came through Samuel alongside the covenant David would receive from the Lord that came through Nathan.

When you try to do the Lord’s job and place the weight of his tasks concerning others on your shoulders, it is hard to rest. So opposite from the way the world thinks, his people can trust him to lead them through the door of death into the entrance of life everlasting and to safely keep them forever. Now, if he can do that, can you trust him to lead you and each of his chosen ones each moment of each day?

This old hymn says it well:

“All to Jesus I surrender,

all to him I freely give.

I will ever love and trust him

in his presence daily live.


I surrender all.

I surrender all.

All to thee my Blessed Savior,

I surrender all.”

All to Jesus I surrender

Humbly at his feet I bow.

Worldly pleasures all forsaken.

Take me, Jesus,

Take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender

Make me Savior wholly thine

May Thy Holy Spirit fill me

May I know Thy power divine.”

Singing Psalm 4 to release control for unshakable security

Jesus was dead on a wooden cross out of love for you. His name is now honored above all names as he ever lives and even now is interceding for you. Though you have been and can be rotten (I’m speaking to myself here), you, follower of Jesus, are worth far more than many sparrows or, uh, a rotten banana. Looking at Jesus’ death, you can see how something that looked like the worst thing ever resulted in the best thing ever.

He rose from the dead to bring unshakable security through the resurrection power that will infuse eternal life into each one of his people. You follow him in life, through death unless he comes to take you home first, and into life that will never again be interrupted by death. Knowing this, is it not foolish to make judgments based on what you can see at the moment?

The looser the grip you have on your dreams of how your life should be, the more you will be ready to flex and bend according to the direction of your creator who provides you with unshakable security, who loves you, and who woos you to himself. Now you love him above all else.

When everything else you love has been surrendered to the Lord, and you have held nothing back from him, then you can rest sweetly as your head hits the pillow each night because no matter how bad things look or are at the moment, you trust the one who will overcome not just your troubles, but the troubles in all the world.

Be thankful for everything you get to experience as gifts from God that you are still unwrapping. What that looks like is you refuse to be a victim or let anyone feel sorry for you. When you take full responsibility for something over which you have no control, you are either heading for a healthy detour leading you over time to stop doing that or on a straight anxiety-ridden path to insanity.

I remember with joy singing Psalm 4 before bed many nights. The peaceful smiles on little faces after they sang verse four could melt the hardest of hearts:

“You have given my heart greater joy by far

Than when grain and new wine most abundant are.

So in peace I lie down; I will rest and sleep,

For, O LORD, You only will me safely keep.” ~ Psalm 4:7-8

Singing Psalm 4, you pause with each ‘Selah’ to consider, reflect, and ponder this unshakable security in the face of current sufferings, trials, hurts, and losses. As you weep with those who weep, greater joy by far will not escape you. Through the tears, lying down to rest and sleep, you trust God like a child looking toward your sure reward from your faithful Father.

Started: April 2, 2022

Completed: May 24, 2022


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