“Sweet Evening Hymn! [The psalmist says] I shall not sit up to watch through fear, but I will lie down; and then I will not lie awake listening to every rustling sound, but I will lie down in peace and sleep, for I have [nothing] to fear…Better than bolts or bars is the protection of the Lord…God alone was [the psalmist’s] keeper…[T]hough alone, without man’s help, he was even then in good keeping, for he was ‘alone with God’… How many of our sleepless hours might be traced to our untrusting and disordered minds. [Saints] slumber sweetly whom faith rocks to sleep. No pillow [is] so soft as a promise; no [blanket] so warm as an assured interest in Christ. O Lord, give us this calm repose on you, that like David we may lie down in peace, and sleep each night while we live; and joyfully may we lie down in the appointed season, to sleep in death, to rest in God!”
Cardiphonia:* If you’ve ever had a hard time going to sleep because people and problems were ganging up on you, you might find this psalm a solace and help. It helps fearful believers to know how to process their fears through the gift of faith.
Stanza six of my composition was my go‐to evening song when tucking my kids into bed at night. Six children—not to mention their dad—were all sent off into quiet rest time and again with these simple words to this simple tune stilling their hearts.
I’d see Jesus in Psalm 4 as well. Our Lord was known to sleep soundly and securely in the midst of storms (Luke 8:22‐25); becoming for us a fulfilment of this psalm and a model for our faith. Peaceful calm marked his spirit, even when confronted by raging enemies. He trusted in his God, and His Father delivered.
* This term is derived from two Greek words—one meaning heart and the other meaning sounds or utterances. Thinking that he wouldn’t mind, I’ve borrowed the term from John Newton (author of Amazing Grace—and creator of his own hymnbook back in his 18th century days) to label my devotional reflections in which I share sounds and thoughts from my own heart that are prompted by each of the psalms—and the King whom they reveal. I hope that my cardiphonia will be filled with personal hints for the life of faith, as well as observations about Jesus as well; both for your blessing, and for mine.
Listen or Download MP3 (Audio)
View or Download Sheet Music (PDF)