Ps 4:1-8 contains some great spiritual instructions on how to dwell safely. Many people follow some practical safety measures, which are wise, like wearing a PFD while in a boat, holding an extension ladder while someone is on it, wearing a safety harness on a steep pitched roof, etc. But we must also consider these spiritual safety measures, lest we look to ourselves, rather than the Lord, for safety.
David said, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makes me dwell in safety,” [Ps 4:8]. Wouldn’t you love to have this much peace and this much assurance that the Lord is keeping you safe? You can, and this Psalm shows you how. The Lord protects you, keeps you safe, and gives you peace when you:
Pray to him – Ps 4:1, 3 – Hear me when I call, O God… hear my prayer… the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Prayer should be the first necessity not the last extremity. Yesterday, Macy Smith was rescued seven hours after her car hydroplaned and careened twenty five feet down a mountain side. She was thrown to the backseat and her arm was pinned between the car and the ground. Her mother found her by using GPS on the Find my Friends app. When Macy was rescued, she said that she was not able to reach her phone, but she was able to reach her Bible. She grabbed it and prayed harder than she has ever prayed. The Lord kept her safe.
Live godly – Ps 4:3 – the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself. The Lord takes special interest in those who live godly. The Lord took special care of Job, for instance. When the devil provoked the Lord against Job, the Lord protected him, nevertheless, and wouldn’t let the devil kill him. After Job’s trial, the Lord doubled his possessions, gave him all of his children, and gave him another one hundred and forty years of life. The Lord kept him safe through his ordeal. You know that there are many martyrs and those who have suffered like Paul for righteousness. Jesus said that he that loseth his life shall save it. In spite of what they endured, the Lord kept them safe. Look at these instances when the Lord let Paul know that he was taking care of him [Acts 18:9-10; Acts 27:23-25].
Stand in awe and sin not – Ps 4:4 – awe comes from the fear of God. And sinning not comes from departing from evil [Prov 3:7]. By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil [Prov 16:6]. See Job 28:28. You often find fearing God and departing from evil connected in the same verse. Fearing God is a great motivator to stay away from sin. You don’t have to wait until you have paid the price of sin to decide to depart from it. The fear of God convinces you to leave it alone. When you keep yourself from sin, there is a closer walk with God and greater assurance that he is looking out for you. The Lord keeps you safe.
Trust the Lord – Ps 4:5 – ultimately the Lord is whom we must trust for our safety. Prov 21:31 the horse is prepared against the day of battle, but safety is of the Lord. Ps 33:17 an horse is a vain thing for safety. That’s because in Ps 12:5 the Lord said, “I will set him in safety.” The world gets lulled into believing they can be safe without the Lord. But in 1 Thes 5:3, it’s just when the world feels safe that sudden destruction comes. Notice in Matt 24:15-18, during the Tribulation, they don’t even have time to get their clothes. They must depend entirely on the Lord. Their riches won’t suffice anyway [Jas 5:1-3]. Prov 11:4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath. You don’t need to stockpile when you trust the Lord. In the Old Testament, the manna bred worms and stank, if they kept it for the next day. In 1 Ki 17, the widow’s barrel of meal and cruse of oil were daily replenished by the Lord for each day’s meal. In 2 Ki 4 the widow poured out enough oil in the vessels that she borrowed to pay off the creditors and live of the rest. When you trust the Lord, he can give you what you need and the wisdom to work with his provision without losing your trust in him [Prov 30:8-9].
Conclusion: you and I are to trust the Lord for our safety. If you want to dwell in safety and sleep peacefully, then remember to pray to the Lord, live godly, stand in awe and sin not, and trust in the Lord. Never become so dependent on your personal safety measures that you forget the Lord. All those things are wise protections and measures, but safety is of the Lord. Never forget that. You’ll sleep much better that way. And he’ll do things for you that those provisions can never do.