Psalm 4:2 - Loving What Is Empty And Seeking A Lie?

Psa.4:2; Loving What Is Empty And Seeking A Lie?

Psalm 4:2 (KJV)  O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my 
glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after 
leasing? Selah 

Psalm 4:2 (NIV)  How long, O men, will you turn my glory into 
shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah 

Psalm 4:2 (TEV)  How long will you people insult me? How long 
will you love what is worthless and go after what is false? 

Psalm 4:2 (GWT)  You important people, how long are you going to 
insult my honor? How long are you going to love what is empty and seek 
what is a lie? Selah 


Ps 3 is a morning prayer; Ps 4, an evening prayer (Ps 3:5; 4:8). 
Both are laments calling on God during stress. The lament invokes 
God's name, describes the problem, condemns or complains about 
enemies, affirms confidence in God, petitions for help, and concludes in 
praise or blessing.... Lamentation is a private prayer, but v. 8 
indicates that it was intended for public use. Expression of laments to 
God can become occasions for encouraging, instructing, and blessing 
the worshiping community..... Some laments were amazingly candid about 
the writer's fears and doubts, but the psalmist consistently turned 
to God for help. The psalmist often wondered why God did not 
intervene more quickly to alleviate the suffering, but he was confident of 
God's concern for him. The psalmist patiently waited for God's help 
and endured unjust suffering. Laments are basically protests of 
injustice and pleas to God for His justice to prevail. Christians can be 
equally honest with God in prayer. Taking our concerns about injustice 
and suffering to God is a basic part of the Christian response to 
evil and suffering. Like the Hebrews, we can be confident of God's 
help. If we experience an injustice, we can approach God, knowing that 
eventually He will correct the situation. [Disciple SB re Psa.3] 


The background of this psalm is likely the same as that of Ps. 3 
(i.e., Absalom's revolt). [Ryrie SB] 


"How long" frequently appears in laments, expressing impatience 
and suffering. These are appropriate feelings to take to God in 
prayer. Anger can be the subject of mediation with God but should be 
ultimately silenced. Note Eph 4:26. Worship and faith help overcome anger. 
[Disciple SB] 

My glory into shame. If this refers to the rebellion in 
Absalom's time (see introductions to Ps. 3 and 4), the allusion most 
obviously would be to the fact that David was being robbed of his kingly 
dignity and reduced to virtual beggary and extreme want. [SDA 

my glory -- Some take this as a veiled reference to God. It is 
better understood as referring to the psalmist's dignity and 
reputation, implying his high rank in the community (Anderson). [Jamieson, 
Fausset, And Brown Commentary] 


Or it may be taken more generally. God, by the psalmist, here 
reasons with sinners to bring them to repentance. "You that go on in the 
neglect of God and his worship, and in contempt of the kingdom of Christ 
and his government, consider what you do.".... 
"you dishonour your Maker, and turn his glory into shame." They 
may well be taken as God's own words, charging sinners with the 
wrong they do him in his honour: or, if David's words, the term glory 
may be understood of God, whom he called his glory, . 
Idolaters are charged with changing the glory of God into shame, . All wilful sinners do so by disobeying the commands of his law, 
despising the offers of his grace, and giving the affection and service to 
the creature which are due to God only. Those that profane God's 
holy name, that ridicule his word and ordinances, and, while they 
profess to know him, in works deny him, do what in them lies to turn his 
glory into shame. 
"you put a cheat upon yourselves: You love vanity, and seek 
after leasing, or lying, or that which is a lie. You are yourselves 
vain and lying, and you love to be so." Or, "You set your hearts upon 
that which will prove, at last, but vanity and a lie." Those that 
love the world, and seek the things that are beneath, love vanity, 
and seek lies; as those also do that please themselves with the 
delights of sense, and portion themselves with the wealth of this world; 
for these will deceive them, and so ruin them. "How long will you do 
this? Will you never be wise for yourselves, never consider your duty 
and interest? When shall it once be?" . The God of 
heaven thinks the time long that sinners persist in dishonouring him 
and in deceiving and ruining themselves. (Matthew Henry's 


"O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame?" 
Psalm 4:2 
An instructive writer has made a mournful list of the honours 
which the blinded people of Israel awarded to their long expected 
1. They gave him a procession of honour, in which Roman 
legionaries, Jewish priests, men and women, took a part, he himself bearing 
his cross. This is the triumph which the world awards to him who 
comes to overthrow man's direst foes. Derisive shouts are his only 
acclamations, and cruel taunts his only paeans of praise. 
2. They presented him with the wine of honour. Instead of a 
golden cup of generous wine they offered him the criminal's stupefying 
death-draught, which he refused because he would preserve an uninjured taste 
wherewith to taste of death; and afterwards when he cried, "I thirst," 
they gave him vinegar mixed with gall, thrust to his mouth upon a 
sponge. Oh! wretched, detestable inhospitality to the King's Son. 
3. He was provided with a guard of honour, who showed their 
esteem of him by gambling over his garments, which they had seized as 
their booty. Such was the body-guard of the adored of heaven; a 
quaternion of brutal gamblers. 
4. A throne of honour was found for him upon the bloody tree; no 
easier place of rest would rebel men yield to their liege Lord. The 
cross was, in fact, the full expression of the world's feeling towards 
him; "There," they seemed to say, "thou Son of God, this is the 
manner in which God himself should be treated, could we reach him." 
5. The title of honour was nominally "King of the Jews," but 
that the blinded nation distinctly repudiated, and really called him 
"King of thieves," by preferring Barabbas, and by placing Jesus in the 
place of highest shame between two thieves. His glory was thus in all 
things turned into shame by the sons of men, but it shall yet gladden 
the eyes of saints and angels, world without end. [Morning And 
Evening Daily Readings by Charles H. Spurgeon] 


[ (Will ye turn) my glory into shame?]-- ... Great and wise as you 
think yourselves, "ye love vanity;" i. e., ye pursue eagerly a scheme 
which shall end in your disappointment. So , "the people 
imagine a vain thing:" a correspondence which shows the designed 
arrangement of the pair of psalms, 3 and 4 after 1 and 2. Both pairs have 
relation to a revolt against the Lord's Anointed:  against the 
Antitype, Christ; and  and 4 against the type, David. The 
distinction between bneey  (heb 1121) 'aadaam  (heb 120) and bneey  (heb 
1121) 'iysh  (heb 376) appears in , where the former is 
translated "men of low degree;" the latter, "men of high degree." The 
revolters against the Antitype similarly tried to bring "the King of 
glory" to shame, in mockery crowning Him with thorns, and robing Him in 
royal purple. 
[Seek after leasing]-- i. e., lies. 'The revolt is truly called 
a lie, because the revolters deluded themselves as to the real 
nature of their attempt, which they decked out in splendid colours' 
(Calvin). The rebels sought by `lies' to help, forward their bad cause: 
for instance, Absalom's hypocritical lie, making religion the mask 
of treason <2 Sam. 15:7-8>. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown 

[O ye sons of men] The reference is doubtless to Absalom and his 
followers; and he calls them "sons of men," as having human feelings, 
passions, and purposes, in strong distinction from that righteous God to 
whom he had just made his solemn appeal. God was holy, true, and 
just, and he might appeal to Him; they were ambitious and wicked, and 
from them he had nothing to hope. He looked upon God as righteous 
altogether; he looked upon them as altogether depraved and wicked. God he 
regarded as his just Protector; them he regarded as seeking only to wrong 
and crush him. 
[Will ye love vanity] That is, how long will you act as if you 
were in love with a vain and impracticable thing; a thing which 
"must" be hopeless in the end. The idea is, that God had chosen him, 
and anointed him, and had determined that he should be king , and therefore, that their efforts "must be" ultimately 
unsuccessful. The object at which they were aiming could not be accomplished, 
and he asks how long they would thus engage in what must, from the 
nature of the case, be fruitless. 
[And seek after leasing] The word "leasing" is the Old English 
word for "lie." The idea here is, that they were pursuing a course 
which would yet prove to be a delusion-- the hope of overturning his 
throne. The same question, in other respects, may be asked now. Men are 
seeking that which cannot be accomplished, and are acting under the 
influence of a lie. What else are the promises of permanent happiness in 
the pursuits of pleasure and ambition? What else are their attempts 
to overthrow religion and virtue in the world? (Barnes' Notes)