Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Boldness of Conscience (Psalm 4)

"But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the LORD will hear when I call to Him" (Psalm 4:3)

Throughout the Psalms we find a boldness in approaching God. Despite sins, difficulties, and afflictions, the psalmists turn to God in hope. When all else seems hopeless, when the world stands against them, they find security in God. The confidence of their prayers stems from knowing that God defends His people, is faithful to His promises, despises wicked ways, and forgives our sins.

David prays in Psalm 4, “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness.” He knows that God defends what is right and that God called him and set him apart as one of His own. David does not boast in his own inherent righteousness but in righteousness in reference to his enemies—those who oppose the very righteousness of God. The ways of God’s people are according to His righteousness, whereas the paths of the wicked are foolishness.

David’s conscience testified that he had attempted nothing without the call and commandment of God. Because he had a clear conscience, he not only exercised boldness before God in prayer but he stood confidently before his enemies. He challenged them in verses 2, 4, and 5 to repent of their wickedness. Like John the Baptist before Herod, David rebuked his enemies for their ungodly schemes, delusions, and hypocrisy. He did not find this courage in himself, but in the authority and strength of God.

“David’s boldness was in his dependence upon God,” Calvin said. “And surely we may then safely triumph over our enemies when we are assured of having the call of God to the office which we hold, or the work in which we are engaged.”

How weak the church often is in confronting the ungodly. We are either too consumed with our own sinfulness or we fear man more than God. David, who was a sinner like us, boldly confronted the enemies of God’s kingdom because he placed his confidence not in himself but in the righteousness and truth of God. Like David, we must examine our hearts and motives before challenging others; we must have clear conscience, resting on God alone. We must not flounder, refusing to confront mockers of the Gospel of Christ. We must not refrain from exposing their sin and calling them to repentance.

Read Hebrews 9:14; Romans 9:1; 2 Corinthians 1:12; and 1 Timothy 1:5. What is necessary in aquiring a good conscience? Examine your own life. Seek to gain a good conscience in order to excercise boldness before God and men. Ask God for His enabling grace to strengthen your conscience.