Bible Commentaries
Psalms 4

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-8

Psalms 4:1-8. Title. The " chief musician," or overseer, or president, seems to have been the person appointed in the Psalmody of the sanctuary, to set the tune and lead the singers and musicians. (Notes, 1 Chronicles 6:33-38; 1 Chronicles 15:22; 1 Chronicles 25:1-8.) " Neginoth " may either mean the instruments with which the psalm was to be sung ; or the tune to which it was set. Perhaps this psalm was omposed on the same occasion as the foregoing, (iii. title.)

V. 1. Of my righteousness.] By this expression, the Psalmist acknowledged God to be in all respects the Author and Source of his righteousness, as accepted and sanctified ; and he appealed to him to do justice between him and his unrighteous adversaries. (Marg. Ref. h.)

V. 2. My glory.] David might have considered his throne as a special honour to him, seeing he was called to it by the immediate choice of God, and as a type of the Messiah : but the Lord himself, and his relation to him, were indeed " his Glory." (Note, Psalms 3:3-5.) His enemies derided him for this, and wanted to make him ashamed of it, or turned it into a reproach to him : while the vain grounds of confidence, in whicli they delighted, were deceiving them ; and while they invented lies to make him odious. " Ye love vanity : ye seek a lie."

V. 3- 5. The piety of David evinced, that he was the object of the Lord’s special choice and favour; who, having advanced him to the throne, as " the man after his " own heart," would certainly establish his kingdom.

His prayers would therefore surely be heard, and that would involve the ruin of all his enemies. Of this he solemnly reminded them, and exhorted them to take heed what they did ; to repent of their sins, to examine their own hearts, to hearken to the voice of conscience, to court retirement, to pause and reflect on their conduct ; to bring the appointed sacrifices, with repentance, faith, and piety ; and thus to cast themselves upon the mercy of God, and trust in him for forgiveness and salvation. Godly. (3) rpn : Godly, merciful, beneficent, upright, holy, Psalms 18:26; Psalms 86:2. Psalms 145:17. Ephesians 4:26.)

V. 6- 8. (Note, Psalms 1:1-3.) Many enquire after happiness without knowing in what it consists, or where it may be found. But David had in this respect come to a decision. He could ask the Lord to smile on him as a kind Father, and to shine on him as the Sun ; this had often before made him happier, than the greatest confluence of worldly goods could render the ungodly ; and it did so even then. Thus comforted, he indeed pitied, but he neither envied nor feared, the most prosperous sinner ; and could lie down and rise up in peace and confidence, assured of temporal protection and eternal salvation.

Who will, & amp;c. (6) The uncertainty of men concerning the nature of happiness, in what it consists, and where it is to be found, is strikingly shewn in the numerous and discordant opinions of the more philosophical heathens about the CHIEF GOOD.


The servants of God, whose " righteousness is of him," will have increasing experience of his faithfulness, power, and love : having been frequently enlarged when distressed in their souls or in their circumstances, they call upon him with confidence ; and they neither have nor desire any other plea, than that of his free mercy. The Lord allows them to glory and rejoice in him ; nor shall the sons of men ever render them ashamed of their confidence : but all else is vain and fallacious; and the conduct of ungodly men is a mixture of hypocrisy, deceit, flattery, and slander.

In proportion as we are conscious of devotedness to God, we have evidence that we are chosen and " set apart by " him," to shew forth his praises and enjoy his love : nor can we ask more than he is ready to grant. Instead then of reviling our slanderers, we should warn them and expostulate with them, and invite them to seek a share in our happiness. This the greatest sinners may hope for, when convinced of their guilt and danger, and afraid to sin anymore ; when they begin to examine their hearts and to confess their sins; and when they seek opportunities of solitude and silent meditation. In everything we ought to use means, and attend to the ordinances and commandments of God ; but after all we must place our whole dependence on his mercy and grace. Let worldly men know, that the true Christian has found that good, which they are in vain enquiring after: whilst he enjoys peace and communion with God, he envies not their wealth or indulgence ; and as he goes to rest at night in confidence of divine protection, so he can look forward to the grave, as the bed in which he shall rest, till the joyful morning of the resurrection. But, as this salvation is in Christ alone, where will they appear, who despise his personal and mediatorial glory, refuse to have him to reign over them, and revile him in his disciples ? Oh, may they stand in awe, and no longer thus sin against their only remedy : may they come to him, and trust in his atoning sacrifice ; and then offer their sacrifices of righteousness, of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, and every good work, which through him are to the praise and glory of God ! (Notes, Romans 12:1. Philippians 4:14-20. Hebrews 13:15-16. 1 Peter 2:4-6.)

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 4". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. 1804.