When David is surrounded by nations that have had good harvests, the people start to think that the fertility gods of the surrounding nations might have something to offer.  There is a form of religion that looks at famine (both literal and figurative) and thinks that God has deserted the ones who are enduring the hardship.  This kind of religion sees God as a wish-granter who gives us not just all we need, but who gives us all we want.

Famine focuses the mind.  There is nothing like scarcity to show us where our allegiances lie.  When life seems barren T.V. alcohol or sex can offer some distraction.  However, when the show ends, we are still as hungry as when the show started, if not more so.  We should let difficult circumstances do their work and allow ourselves to be turned to God.

Psalm 4

Psalm 4[a]

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

 4 Tremble and[d] 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.


  1. Who is turning David’s glory to shame?
  2. How can God help David?
  3. If the ‘O men’ refers to the leaders of Israel, how does the leaders turning to false gods affect David’s position?
  4. How are you affected by people turning to money, possessions, and their employment for security and happiness?
  5. How can you raise children who turn to the right places in times of shortage?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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