April 30, 2017
Read: Psalm 4:1–8
Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 8–9; Luke 21:1–19
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself.—Psalm 4:3
It’s almost impossible for us to get through a day without being snubbed, ignored, or put down in some way. Sometimes we even do it to ourselves.
David’s enemies were talking smack—bullying, threatening, pummeling him with insults. His sense of self-worth and well-being had plummeted (Ps. 4:1-2). He asked for relief “from my distress.”
Then David remembered, “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself” (v. 3). Various English versions try to capture the full essence of David’s bold statement by translating “faithful servant” as “godly.” The Hebrew word here, hesed, literally refers to God’s covenant love and might well be rendered “those whom God will love forever and ever and ever.”
Here’s what we too must remember: We are loved forever, set apart in a special way, as dear to God as His own Son. He has called us to be His children for all eternity.
Instead of despairing, we can remind ourselves of the love we freely receive from our Father. We are His dearly beloved children. The end is not despair but peace and joy (vv. 7-8). He never gives up on us, and He never ever stops loving us. —David Roper
Father in heaven, the words of others can wound us deeply. Your words to us heal and comfort, and You assure us that we are loved forever.
The true measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure. Bernard of Clairvaux
INSIGHT: How could we not care what others think or say about us? So much in life seems to depend on how others regard us. Maybe David wrote his fourth psalm after hearing rumors that he still thought he had gotten away with murder and with his scandalous affair with Bathsheba. Maybe he was told how others accused him of using his false humility and self-centered spirituality as a cover for his lust for power. As if knowing our own weak points he wrote, “How long will you people ruin my reputation? . . . How long will you continue your lies?” (v. 2 nlt).The answer doesn’t seem to be what we might have expected. Without explanation, the songwriter seems to be like a television viewer changing channels. Suddenly the issue is no longer how long others are going to say thoughtless things about him, but rather how long his God is going to love him unconditionally—forever. The thought is better than warm milk and a soft pillow. With the love of God filling his heart, the words of enemies fade into silence. How does God’s unconditional love comfort you? To read more about God’s love go to God Is Love at discoveryseries.org/q0612. Mart DeHaan
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