“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Talk about a dramatic entrance to a wonderful book of the bible.
The first two verses of the book of Psalms have always mystifyed me. I don’t know what it is. All I know is that it is a pretty perfect set up for the rest of the book.
These verses tell it all, my friends. They tell of the beautiful call that God has given man. They tell of the temptations that we all face. They tell of standing up against what we know is wrong. And they tell of the great reward of loving God and meditating on Him no matter what.
And that is what the Psalms are all about!!
It seems like, when it comes to the book of Psalms, people either love it or stear away from it. I definitely fall under the ‘love ‘um’ spectrum. I find the words of this book to be like so many little prayers, speaking to every single area of life. Did you know that the psalms mention every known human emotion and struggle? There is literally something in there for everyone.
Even so, I understand that not everyone will be drawn to read these chapters of the bible. They’re flowery and discriptive, and sometimes dreary and dark. But they are so beautiful. Oh so beautiful.
That said, I want to encourage you to give the Psalms a second look, if you’re not a regular visitor. I think the Psalms are a wonderful place to go when you don’t know where else to go. While all of the books have their strengths, thanks to the Holy Spirit, this one just does a really good job of getting those spiritual juices going again. And don’t beat yourself up too much if its not for you!! There are many fish in the sea… or books in the bigger Book. LOL.
In case you need to know where to start, or why to start, here are just a few of my favorite aspects of the book of Psalms and some verses to go with them.
+ They remind us that life isn’t all sunshine and roses
Nope. Just nope. Life is full of ups and downs, many of which give life its greatest beauty. And the Psalms are no different. Yes they talk about praise and thanksgiving, but they also talk about that feeling of dispair that finds its way into this thing called life. Does “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, ring a bell (Psalm 22:1). This book of the Bible does not ignore the hard stuff. In fact, I’d say that in about 1 out of 5 chapters, they will seriously delve into this type of idea. This remembrance of hard times of faith, with a much greater amout of the opposite, gives it a very well rounded view point.
See Psalm 3:1-2, 5:1-3, 10, 12, 22, 38
+ They encourage us when we don’t know what to do
“Depart from evil, and do good; so shall you abide for ever” (37:27) I ran into this verse a couple weeks ago and was a little taken aback. It’s such a simple phrase, a mere sentence and a half, but man, does it pack a punch. That’s all we really need to do in this life, avoid evil and do good. And while we know that, sometimes it helps to read it and get a little reminder.
See Psalm 16:8-11, 4:3, 15, 16:5
+ They teach us that God will always be with us and will always sustain us
This is definitely one of the most common and consoling aspirations of the Psalms. I am with you, I will not forsake you, I am holding you, He holds me, lest I fall, He leads me through troubling waters. These are the verses that I love to have in my back pocket when I’m having a rough day. Just praying these words over ourselves and others is so powerful.
See Psalm 5:11, 7:1, 11, 16
+ They teach us to praise like none other
If you ever really listen to worship music from groups like Bethel, Hillsong, or the like, you will begin to see Psalms pop out everywhere. The Psalms are pretty bomb at praising God. Seeing that it is so easy to forget how very blessed we are, these beautiful verses can be used as the perfect reminder when we need it. Just as a good song can do the same!!
See Psalm 8:1-2, 18:1-3, 19,
+ They teach us to trust
I talk a lot about trust on here for one reason only: Because I think its stinkin’ important. Without putting our trust in God, we will have little success at a fruitful relationship with Him. And if we can’t trust God, our loving Father, than trusting anyone else will be pretty tricky! The Psalms are perfect for little nuggets of trust in our heavenly God.
See Psalm 25:1-2, 26:1 31, 37, 56:3-4, 62:8, 112:7, 115:11, 143:8, 145:13
+ They take the words out of our mouthes and onto the paper
This one may sound unique to include, but think about it for a second. You know how sometimes you really want to pray, but you don’t have the words. You’re frustrated, or excited, or sad, or just confused. Whatever the case may be, one of the Psalms can talk to that feeling you are feeling. Like I said at the beginning, they speak to every known emotion. So, the next time you don’t have the words, check the ‘paper” and see what the Holy Spirit can come up with.
See… For this one, simply check the different chapter titles and see what speaks to you at the moment. When something sticks out to you, read through it and ponder anything that pulls at your heartstrings.
Well, that’s about all. I mean I could keep going on about how much I love the Psalms, but I think you get it!! So go dive in! I know you won’t regret it!!
If you’re looking for more inspo on Bible Study and different methods I have found helpful, check out my Bible study methods post HERE.
Have a great day, friends!!
2 thoughts on “Living the Psalms”
I’m the music coordinator and am organist at our parish — I started using more of the psalms as music during Mass, for the entrance, and for the communion meditation, but I’ve been having a really hard time connecting. Thanks for some great insights that I will definitely keep in mind while praising and singing this weekend!
That is such a beautiful idea!! Your email so welcome!!!