Somewhere along the way, I read that Psalm 4 is good for what ails you. The psalm clearly reflects on God’s ability to “put gladness in our hearts,” but on the third Sunday of Eastertide, it has a special job.
Psalm 4 addresses unbelief through honesty, transparency, and human emotions. The early church recognized this role and linked it to the story of unbelief in Acts 3:12-19, where Peter preaches to people who, like him, believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Those people also rejected Jesus, killing “the Author of Life” (Acts 3:15).
Peter’s audience had just witnessed a lame man healed in the name of Jesus. Amazed to see the formerly lame man leaping and praising God, Peter confronts them with their sin of unbelief and rejection of Jesus. Before they can react, Peter invites his own people to believe in Jesus and come into the household of faith, and many of them do!
Psalm 4 is our focus this Sunday, and its honesty connects with us all. “He is risen! He is risen, indeed.” And there are always people in the room who struggle, who ask questions, who lean toward unbelief. “How can I know?” “Where is God in my pain?” “Life isn’t fair!” All are questions and attitudes reflected in Psalm 4.
Elie Wiesel once remarked, “Poets exist so that the dead may vote.” And oh, how they vote in the Psalms! And in Psalm 4, the poet votes for faith.
Add this playlist (created by contributors to The Rabbit Room) to your Eastertide celebrations!