“But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.” Psalms 4:3
Psalm four is a psalm of faith in distress.
David had a lot of experience practicing his faith in times of great difficulty and distress. During the lonely days when he would look after his father’s of sheep, and the lions and bears would attack, he’d learned to trust God; this set him up to have faith when he faced Goliath the Philistine giant. For years, during the time of King Saul’s paranoia and jealous pursuit to take his life, David continued to grown his faith and trust in God. Later when his son, Absolom, staged a coup and temporarily forced him into hiding David once again demonstrated faith and fortitude, even in his distress and grief.
It almost seems that faith was easier for David to hold onto when he was in difficulty than when when he was at peace. I think that’s true for a lot of us. In times of trial and difficulty we’re taken away from the distractions often present when we’re at leisure and forced to look beyond our own resources and abilities and seek for something, for someone, bigger than we are, someone better able to stay in control.
When others were trying to sweep him away and destroy him David remembered where all his protection and prosperity came from, “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly….”
It’s God who has set him apart. The word holy means, “to be set apart,” and the word sanctify means, “to set apart,” and we understand that sanctification is the process by which we’re made righteous or holy. So in David’s statement of faith, in Psalm chapter four verse three, it could be said that he’s telling us that it’s God that is making him holy; He’s the one that’s in charge of the direction of his life; He’s the one that’s shaping, and molding, and growing him.
But verse three defines more than the fact that God is the author of our righteousness it also describes why he does it, “…the Lord has set apart for Himself…”. God does what he does for us for himself. He doesn’t need to be convinced of our worth. He doesn’t need us to entice him with our potential, or with our promises of faithfulness, or with any other inducements we could come up with. All the motivation God needs he has within himself.
He desires us, he loves us, he wants us, and he wants us to be free to desire, and to love, and to want him too. And because David knows that God himself loves him he also knows that when he cry’s out to God, when he comes to God in prayer, that God will hear him.
God doesn’t have any favorites. He made us all, he loves us all, and he wants us all. Because of this we all can be sure that when we call out to God he’ll hear us too. We don’t have to become holy for God to hear us. He’s the one that sets us apart and makes us holy, and His love has already got him sitting on the edge of his throne waiting for us to call.