Welcome to Psalms! Sing a joyful song unto the Lord! Praise Him! He has preserved the Book of Psalms for us to savor!
I have contemplated how we should approach the Book of Psalms several times before we even reached this point in this Bible study. And each time I have tossed about the idea of combining chapters or even reading more than one chapter per day, the Holy Spirit has impressed upon my heart … one day at a time. If you’ve been reading with us since the beginning … pun intended, you might remember my metaphorical riddle: how do you eat an elephant? Answer: one bite at a time. And that, my friends, is exactly how we are going to approach the Book of Psalms, so get your spoons and forks ready because we’re digging in … one chapter, one verse, no matter how tiny, at a time. And with that noted, we should also keep in mind that that means we will be spending 150 days in the book of Psalms. And if you are up on your basic math skills, which I barely am, that means, we will be spending nearly half a year reading through the Book of Psalms. And that’s ok. I knew when I started this study that it would take me roughly three-plus years to complete, and I’m a little behind that schedule even. And sometimes I want to speed it up and work ahead, but God says no. Enjoy these words one bite at a time. So I am. I hope you are enjoying the feast.
Now, let’s discuss the actual text. King David is given credit for writing most of the psalms, and for the chapters that he doesn’t write, you’ll usually find a notation for it, like in Chapter 1, which is credited to “anonymous.” However, we will see many quips from King David in the near future, and one thing that helps me read the psalms, which are in essence poems and songs, is remembering the life of King David and when and where he may have written some of these lines. He had a rough reign and spent a lot of it on the run and in hiding. If you’ve forgotten about his life, thumb back through the Samuels for a recap.
Chapter 1, though, is not credited to King David, so with chapters like these, we have to just use our imaginations, fed by the facts and history that we’ve discovered so far. And like all Scripture, we can certainly apply the lessons of each psalm to our daily lives today. One of the key verses from Psalm 1 is verse 3: “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.” I’ve read this verse many times, but today something new struck me, which is the part about bearing fruit each season. Yes, those who delight in the Lord do often bear fruit, but what I’ve missed from this Scripture is “each season.” In other words, trees don’t bear fruit, and God doesn’t expect them to bear fruit, year-round. There is a time for restoration and growth. Get what I’m saying? I often feel guilty because I’m not constantly doing, doing, doing, but I also know in my heart that I need to refuel once in a while. If you are experiencing a bit of a burnout, maybe it’s because you’re trying to produce fruit in the off-season. Use this psalm as a reminder about the importance of rest, and be inspired to apply it to your life today.
Sum it up:
People who don’t follow the ugly crowd experience many joys.
They know that following the Law of the Lord brings happiness,
And they consistently reflect healthy examples of God’s goodness,
Unlike the nasty people!
They don’t last long, and they’re gross.
Nobody wants to hang out with them.
The Lord guards those who walk with Him
And doesn’t protect those who won’t let Him.
Writing prompt: say it again
Sometimes the psalms are a bit hard to comprehend and appreciate, so how about we write them in our own words? I thought a fun exercise for the Book of Psalms would be to summarize each psalm, so let’s start today!