The fourth Psalm is actually a dialog between the writer and God. The Psalmist begins the prayer, but in verse two, God answers. We’re back to the Psalmist in verse three, back to God in verse four, and back to the Psalmist in verses five through eight. This brief dialog helps us to understand the distress the Psalmist mentions at the beginning.
The writer is distressed by his community, those who place their trust in anything and everything but the Lord. In fact, they are willing to trust in anyone and anything that they believe will bring them the desires of their heart – that’s what their statement “Who can show us any good?” is all about.
God addresses both the Psalmist and the community. He asks the community how long they will stray from Him. To the Psalmist, he says he has every right to be upset, but not to go overboard in his anger and sin.
The Psalmist points the community to God, and then, affirms his own trust in the Lord.
The community in which we live challenges our faith every day. We too should be distressed at their reluctance to trust God. We too should speak to them to urge them to turn to the Lord. But doing that, we’ve done all we can do. Our frustration must be poured out not to the community, but to God, and whether the community turns or not, we must live with joy, knowing that God is at least taking care of us.