“You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.” Psalm iv, 7.
The psalmist who penned down Psalm iv was a righteous man whose delight was in the Lord and in Him alone. When his neighbors and detractors rejoiced over their bumper wheat harvest and had plenty of new wine to lubricate their celebrations, David probably went to bed that night on an empty stomach. David had to stomach the reproach of his enemies who scoffed at his misfortune. “Will anyone show mercy to David?” they asked. They trampled upon his honor and relied on deception (v. 2). However, David was certain about a few things.
First, he knew that God had not abandoned him. Whatever his circumstances were, David knew that he was right with God and that God had “set apart the righteous” for Himself (v. 3). The world might say that there is no difference between the righteous and the wicked; between the overcoming saint and the indulgent sinner. That’s not the case. God knows everyone and everything. He rewards everyone according to the cleanness of his hands.
Second, David knew that God would still answer his prayers. “The LORD hears when I call to Him.” The righteous never give up. They never lose sight of hope. They hope for the best and pray to God that He will accomplish His divine will in their life. From the depths of his numerous misfortunes, David consistently prayed his way out to deliverance and success. What do you do when you are down in the dumps? Do we pray your way out or do you dig in to new depths of depression?
Third, David experienced a God-given joy that far exceeded the happiness of his enemies who had lots of grain and new wine. “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.” The joy of many people are tied up with the abundance of their possessions or the success of their ventures. When they encounter failure in agriculture, business, academics, or in their investments, their hearts sink. The brightness of their countenance depends on their bank balance or the cash in their purses or the earthly achievements of their children. How blessed it is to enjoy lasting gladness—gladness that is not dependent on one’s circumstances!
Finally, David was assured of God’s protection that night. “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety” (v. 8). This peace can be enjoyed by anyone who, like David, will resolve to use even their times of rest for meditating on God’s word. “Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.” (v. 4). David had such a resolve. Such a holy practice is aided by one’s personal purity. Therefore, David admonished others to “tremble” and refrain from sin.
There’s no reason why a Christian shouldn’t experience David’s peace, gladness, and confidence. In fact, we should be testifying about a greater joy, peace and purity that’s ours in the Lord Jesus Christ.