Sunday 5th July Psalm 4
1 O God, defender of the poor,
have mercy when I pray:
you listened to my prayer before
Lord, hear my prayer today!
2 How long will people choose vain things,
love empty words and wrong?
They scorn to serve the King of kings
O living God, how long?
3 The saints, O Lord, you set apart
by grace to be your own:
let sinners tremble, search their hearts,
and bow before your throne.
4 While many pray that you will bless
and bring them all they need,
unless they long for holiness
their prayers are vain indeed.
5 Your light, O Lord, let us receive,
your face within us shine:
for richer is the joy you give
than all their corn and wine.
6 And even when I turn to sleep
your blessings still increase,
for you alone, O Lord, will keep
your child in perfect peace.
You can hear the tune suggested for this Psalm, Brother James’ Air, here
I doubt I will ever have an audience with the Queen. I am not anyone of any consequence and haven’t achieved any great accolade. Although I did once have lunch with Prince Charles when I was 15…..along with 20 or 30 others! What a privilege then to be able to come into the presence of King of kings, or as other translations put it “the one who deserves all the glory”, and converse with God! The Psalmist is under no illusion that they or we deserve to do so. We are able to come to God because we are poor and God looks to defend us in our poverty (which is as much about lack of power as it is about wealth). We come because we know we are sinners and God is merciful.
The Psalmist has learnt that they need to seek God and His truth rather than false gods, delusions and making wrong choices. Over recent months we have come to see what is important and valuable is not possessions but relationships and that important commodity – love. As we emerge from this crisis there are important decisions to be made as to whether we should return to striving after material things or rather seek spiritual riches, expressed here as holiness. And it is not just our own personal decisions that are important it is also about what our national and world leaders invest in. God’s light and glory which we are called to reflect brings joy and is more important than building bigger barns and larger wine presses.
As we rest in God we can know peace and protection. In whom or what will we trust?
Dear Lord, as we look at our world, your world, help us to see beyond what it has been and look instead to see what it might be. Open our eyes and ears to hear you speaking and leading as we offer you ourselves and our prayers for the world and its leaders. May your glory shine even in the darkest corners through your faithful servants.