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God’s Mercy To Sinners: Psalm 4:1-4

 

“Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. O sons of men, how long will my glory become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and seek falsehood? Selah. But know that Yahweh has set apart the holy one for Himself; Yahweh hears when I call to Him. Tremble, and do not sin; Ponder in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in Yahweh.”

Psalm 4:1-4

The inspired writers often speak as Jehovah Himself, as it seems the Holy Spirit imparts to them the very heart’s cry of the Creator. Such an occasion is Psalm 4:2: “O sons of men, how long will my glory become a reproach?” Man, created in God’s image and intended to display a visible image of the glory of an invisible God, has fallen. Instead of glorifying God in his life, he lives it in vanity, deceit, and corruption, bringing shame and reproach upon the true and living God. How grieved He is at our reluctance to repent and forsake our evil ways! This longing and willingness of God to save is reflected in Christ’s weeping over the city of Jerusalem, which is about to reject and crucify Him. He says again, 

“And you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:40).

The hope of such fallen creatures as us is revealed in Psalm 4:1: “Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness!” Sinful men have no righteousness of their own. Their hope of audience with a holy God is His own righteousness imparted to them through faith in Christ. God is the source and Creator of all true righteousness. Therefore we can never hope to impress Him with our righteousness. What we have is simply His own, given to us freely by His grace.

Since we are sinful creatures and have no claim on God’s goodness, we come to Him pleading His mercy. We believe that we shall be heard because He is a merciful God and because He has proven Himself in the past. Our past help is our present hope in God. Such distress in which we must call upon God “enlarges” us… it causes us to grow in grace, if for no other reason than simply because such distresses bring us into a close and dependent relationship with God. The Lord has set apart such God-fearing persons for Himself, and they will surely be heard by Him when they call upon Him.

God’s mercy to sinners does not encourage them to sin and presume upon His grace. Contrariwise, it makes sin so much more to be hated by those who truly love God. They stand in awe of His holiness and goodness, they commune with Him in their hearts. Their eyes are upon His face, and their hearts are filled with His love. The more we cultivate and abide by such an attitude toward God, the less likely we are to fall into sin.

For further reading
A Commentary Through the Psalms by John Calvin
Psalms by W.S. Plumer
Prayer on the Psalms
Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis

Conrad Murrell

Conrad Murrell served in evangelistic ministry for over 50 years and was powerfully used by God in many Assemblies of God and Baptist churches in the United States and around the world. Throughout that time, Conrad pastored churches in Texas and Louisiana, successfully hosted numerous Bible conferences, engaged in continuous itinerant preaching, and diligently evangelized throughout the United States and Mexico. In addition to his fruitful ministry, he also wrote several books, many of which are read worldwide today. Mack Tomlinson's biography of Conrad Murrell is a testimony of God's grace and truth in the life of a man called by God for the proclamation of the Gospel.

Conrad Murrell was a significant contemporary and friend to two of the 20th Century's leading experts on revival, Leonard Ravenhill and Richard Owen Roberts, as well as a dearly loved co-laborer and associate of several other significant evangelists of our age, such as Manley Beasley and Al Whittinghill. Like them, he was a committed, passionate, and anointed itinerant minister. He was a man's man, a man of conviction and grit, but most importantly, he was God's man—a man completely devoted to his Lord and Savior.

February 3, 2024

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