In Psalm 4, in David’s distress he calls out to God (v. 1). He is forsaken and shamed by the people of the world who are asking, “Who will show us any good?” (v.6). There are many faithless people who, even when they look into religion, seek not God, but what they can get out of it. There is a seductive lure of a religion built upon such pragmatism. Such a religion becomes a means of manipulating the gods to fulfill my needs, as the foundational purpose of God’s covenant – to know God – gets lost in the rush for personal satisfaction. Like David, Job held on to God, not because of any benefit they received – in Job’s case, he lost everything! They find in God their delight and joy, simply because He is God and He has chosen to enter into a covenant with them (v.3).
As all of the politicians, the media, commercials, athletics and even much of the church bombard your senses with the ideology that you are at the center of your universe, may you as the Psalmist take your eyes off of yourself and your benefits (your corn and wine v. 7) and place them knowing Christ. Doing so will not change your pain into pleasure, nor will it fill your rumbling stomach. Knowing Christ does not mean that all that is wrong in your life will go away, nor does it, as the quaint but trivial saying goes, make your lemons into lemonade. But knowing Christ brings about a gladness and a rightness about your life that will not be eradicated by pain or want or trial or tribulation. Ours in not some kind or warped, masochistic faith that rejoices over pain and suffering, but one that faces the reality of pain with a steadfast confidence that, “though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him” (Job 13:15).