…Psalm 4: Suffering Displays God’s Strength Through Our Weakness

God never wastes suffering, He redeems all of it for His glory and our blessing.  The classic Scripture for the concept that suffering displays God’s strength through our weakness is found in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, where we learn that God’s grace is sufficient for us, for His power is perfected in weakness.

Our culture hates weakness, but our frailty is a sign of God’s workmanship in us. It gets us closer to what we were created to be—completely dependent on God.   Consider how the Lord Jesus was the exact representation of the glory of the Father— He was completely dependent on the Father, choosing to become weak so that God’s strength could shine through Him. And He was the strongest person the world has ever known.  Not in His own strength, but He displayed the Father’s strength.  His strength can shine through us is because we know God better through suffering.  I once heard a man say, “I got theology in seminary, but I learned reality through trials. I got facts in Sunday School, but I learned faith through trusting God in difficult circumstances. I got truth from studying, but I got to know the Savior through suffering.”


From this time onward, David is finding himself  in one difficulty after another.  Satan has been allowed to enter, and David will find it can be very difficult to shake him off—but David still prayed–he still was trusting in God for deliverance.  We find David  once again in back in  Jerusalem while Joab and his armies are at war against Rabbah

Joab captures Rabbah  2 Samuel 12:26-31

Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the people of Ammon, and they took the royal city. And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, and I have taken the city’s water supply. Now gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it—or else I take the city and it be called after my name.” So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. Then Joab took their king’s crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David’s head. Also he brought out the spoil of the city in great abundance. And he brought out the people who were in it and put them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, and made them cross over to the brick works. So he did to all the cities of the people of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Amnon’s Sin against Tamar  2 Samuel 13:1–39 .

After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her.  -2 Samuel 13:1

David had a beautiful daughter whose name was Tamar.  David’s eldest son Amnon,  Tamar’s half-brother,  became obsessed to have her in his bed. So much he made himself sick over her. He knew she was a virgin and Amnon thought it would be impossible for him to do anything to her.

Amnon had a shrewd friend, Jonadab, who told him how to get her. Jonadab was also the son of King David’s brother Shimeah.  Jonadab proposed Amnon to pretend to be ill and when his father would visit him, to ask for his sister to bring him something to eat and prepare this food before him. David indeed sent word to Tamar to prepare food for Amnon. Tamar took dough, and made cakes while Amnon watched. She took the pan and offered it to Amnon, but he refused it unless she fed it to him with her own hand.  He ordered everyone to leave his room and bid Tamar to bring the cakes to him, he caught hold of her and brought her into his bed and raped her.   But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing!  And I, where could I take my shame?  And now Amnon, after getting his way with her, suddenly hated her.  And Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.  And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother, do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.  David heard what had happened and was very angry. But Amnon was David’s first born and he loved him very much so he did him no harm.  Absalom hated Amnon now for having dishonored his sister and he did not speak to Amnon.  Instead he held onto his anger and plotted against Amnon.

 Then after two years past, Absalom prepared a royal banquet and invited all of David’s sons. During the feast Absalom ordered Amnon to be slain. Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him.  Absalom’s servants killed Amnon after making him drunk with wine.  Absalom fled with all of David’s sons and went to Talmai.   Amnon stayed there for three years in exile.

Absalom’s Return from Exile   2 Samuel 14:1–33  

Joab, King David’s army commander and friend, realizing that three years have past and David was still pining over Absalom, and thinks David’s resolution against his son Absalom may have softened.  Joab hired a woman who could speak well to address David. With a false story she eased David into accepting the young man Absalom’s return to Jerusalem.

 And when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself, and said, “Help, O king!”  Then the king said to her, “What troubles you?”  And she answered, Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead.  Now your maidservant had two sons; and the two fought with each other in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other and killed him.  And now the whole family has risen up against your maidservant, and they said, ‘Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may execute him for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also.’ So they would extinguish my ember that is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the earth.”
So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman answered and said, “As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. For your servant Joab commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant.  To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth.”
Then Joab brought Absalom back to Jerusalem, but David did not allow him to come to the palace. Absalom remained in his own house.
PSALM 4     
1     Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! 
      You have relieved me in my distress, have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
2     How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame?
     How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood?     
3     But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
     The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
4     Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.     
5     Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.
6     There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?”
     Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
7     You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
8    I will both lie down in peace, and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.