Short Meditations in Psalms: 4.3 The Wonder of Godliness
Psa 4:3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him.
This is one of those verses you go to pass by without much thought but then suddenly you realise it is saying things that are much bigger than you first thought. In the previous verse David spoke about those who worshipped idols, people who live a lie and are deceived. Now, by contrast, he speaks of the godly. Who or what are the godly?
A godly person is simply someone who has entered into a living relationship with the Lord and who now exhibits something of the characteristics of the personality and being of God. The apostle Paul described it in this way: “we… all reflect the Lord’s glory, ….being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory.” (2 Cor 3:18) A godly person relates to the Lord and reflects the Lord.
But David says, “the LORD has set apart the godly for himself.” i.e. we are a work of God. Again the apostle Paul speaks of this: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” (Eph 1:4,5) There is in His foreknowing us, a strong sense of sovereign calling. He knew back then who would respond to Him when, in our present day, He called us and we responded and became His children.
But note also those words from David, “for himself”. There is behind those words the sense that the Lord called us to Himself for His own pleasure (as well as ours). The Lord delights in us, His children, and takes pleasure in us – and yes I too struggle to accept the truth of this so often, but it is true!
Now it is because of all this that when we pray, when we call upon the Lord, He will hear us. Obviously because He is God He sees and hears everything, but here there is a special sense of Him hearing us; it is like He focuses on us when we cry to Him in the way that a mother or father focuses immediately when they hear their child cry out when they hurt themselves playing in the garden. So the Lord’s attention is caught by us when we cry out to Him because He is a loving Father who is attentive to His children.
Do you see how all this distinguishes us and makes us stand out in contrast to the ungodly who focus on idols that have no life, that are simply wooden models, the ungodly who have no relationship with the Lord? Imagine you have a child who is say six years old. You are at a fair and there is an explosion and people who running in all directions and crying out. In the midst of the shouts, there will be one that stands out – your child. That is how it is with the Lord, child of God!