From Chuck Lane

Questions for The Book of Psalm

Calvary Christian Fellowship

Questions for each Psalm. (Not from J. Vernon McGee)

1. Who is the Psalmist?

  • A Psalm of David. To the chief Musician on the neginoth ( stringed instrument ). Perhaps this Psalm was played solo on a neginoth.
  • An evening psalm as opposed to Psalm 3: A morning psalm. Is your prayer life as rich in the evening as it is in the morning? Think about that. Talking over the events of the day are just as important as setting out with a right attitude, and the Good Father wants to hear from you, wouldn’t He?

2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?

  • David is “crying out” at the end of the day . . . It is a great cry, as one of the people of God in the time of trouble who take refuge in prayer.

3. Who is the audience?

  • God is addressed, sought and praised, while the sons of men are exhorted and edified (corrected and instructed) with the help of the Spirit.

4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?


  • Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer {Ps. 4:1]

o Key word is “distress.” We know what that is. We also know we can find encouragement in dealing with the pressures of life in the Word of God, as we are reminded:


Ø Psalm 145:18 – The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.

Ø Psalm 50:15 – And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Ø Isaiah 65:24 – And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking I will hear.”

Ø Psalm 18:6 – In my distress I called upon the LORD< and cried unto my God: he ehard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears..

Ø Psalm 55:16 – As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.

Ø Psalm 86:7 – In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

Ø Psalm 91:15 – He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him.


o The cry of the psalmist in Psalm 4 is, at the end of the day, that God be with him.

  • O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? [Ps. 4:2]

o A verse of correction. Key words: vanity, our old “friend,” mean emptiness; leasing means falsehood.


  • But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call unto him [Ps. 4:3]

o This begins the verses of instruction. Just as we are to know that we are subject to the temptations of vanity and leasing; we also know that God sanctifies those who call upon Him in truth , and will hear our prayer.



  • Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah [Ps. 4:4]

o Paul puts it this way: Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath [Eph. 4:26]

o At the end of the day, our lives an open book to the LORD, it is a good time to “stand in awe,” or perhaps “tremble” and be still, as we examine our hearts together with Him . . . Selah. Are we doing enough trembling? Or are we even taking the time . . . to. commune with Him?

  • Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD [Ps. 4:5]

o “. . . the righteous shall walk by faith.” [Habakkuk 2:4] Trust and faith are interchangeable words for the same thing, and our walk is our witness, our testimony. It is not about us, it’s about who we turn to, and call on through prayer, song, worship, for encouragement, correction and instruction, in our distress . . . rather than living in the hopeless defeat of our own self will, repeating the same mistakes over and over, again and again: “Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but . . .” [Habakkuk 2:4]

o Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath [Ephesians 4:26]


  • There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us [Ps. 4:6]

o At the end of the day, even when things have gone all wrong and there seems to be no end in sight, there is rest to be had in the LORD. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. [Matt. 11:29-30]

  • Thou hast put gladness in my heart, and more than in the time that there corn and their wine increased [Ps. 4:7]

o David was down. He was being kicked by unbelievers – Shemei, Absalom his own son, and the greater contingent of the Hebrew children, his own people that had hailed him king going on forty years – who made him an outcast driving him from the City of David, a barefoot fugitive leaving all behind. And what does David say? He has made me glad, more so than at the table of Thanksgiving Dinner celebrating the bounty of harvest. God is good.

  • And so the evening song ends: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makes me dwell in safety [Ps. 4:8]

o If you been given the gift of faith, then you understand this peace. There is no substitute. There are many, many “cures” for distress, worry, sleeplessness . . . but the truth of the matter is that they are not The Way . . . (see Psalm 1).


5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate?

6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? (use and context)

7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?