Appreciating the Psalms

Posted: July 4, 2011 in Christian

I was asked to describe which of the following times makes you most appreciate the Psalms.

a. When you go through dark times
b. When you want to sing praises to God
c. When you want a more powerful prayer life
d. When you need Biblical insight

All of them.

God Bless, Jim

I could have ended it there because every one of those descriptions have there high points in my appreciation of this wonderfully, devotional book. I think Psalms is the most precious of all the books because of the power it has to dive into your soul. Bob Dylan in the song, “Tangled Up In Blue” wrote these words:

And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burning coal
Pouring off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you
*1

That’s what I think of when I think of Psalms. I had read a few of the Psalms as a child, especially Psalms 118 to fulfill the ‘chapter of the bible reading requirement’ enforced by my mother. I, of course, was familiar with Psalm 23 but the Psalms really held no significance to me until my rediscovery tour of the bible started a couple of years ago. Last fall and winter I listened to Chuck Missler’s commentary on the book of Psalms and was totally blown away and astounded with this wonderful book. I have had a compelling desire to write down a book or more of the bible. Deuteronomy tells us that the Kings of Israel were to write their own copy of the Torah as one of their first acts as a ruler of God’s chosen people. We are told we are kings and priests in the order of Melchizedek and Christ. So I reason, we as kings have a duty to know the text we derive our lives, present and future from. I decided to start scribing my own copy of the bible and the first one that came to mind was Psalms. I am only ten chapters into it, for I am still struggling with developing and setting up a devotional schedule.

Lets look at the question categories again. I have listed a Psalm or two that I think jumps out at you in each one of the emotional areas we all experience.

a. When you go through dark times Psalm 18
b. When you want to sing praises to God Psalm 48, 138
c. When you want a more powerful prayer life Psalm 59
d. When you need Biblical insight Psalm 2, 20, 22

Psalm 171 Hear the right, O LORD, attend unto my cry, give ear unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips.
2 Let my sentence come forth from thy presence; let thine eyes behold the things that are equal.
3 Thou has proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou has tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
4 Concerning the works of men, by the word of thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.
5 Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.
6 I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
7 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
9 From the wicked that oppress me, from my deadly enemies, who compass me about.
10 They are inclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.
11 They have now compassed us in our steps: they have set their eyes bowing down to the earth;
12 Like as a lion that is greedy of his prey, and as it were a young lion lurking in secret places.
13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:
14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.
15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
(KJV)

Psalm 48 1 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.
2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
3 God is known in her palaces for a refuge.
4 For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together.
5 They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away.
6 Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
7 Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind.
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah.
9 We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.
10 According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness.
11 Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments.
12 Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.
13 Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.
14 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
(KJV)

Psalm 1381 I will praise thee with my whole heart: before the gods will I sing praise unto thee.
2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
5 Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD.
6 Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
(KJV)

Psalm 591 Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.
4 They run and prepare themselves without my fault: awake to help me, and behold.
5 Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.
6 They return at evening: they make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: for who, say they, doth hear?
8 But thou, O LORD, shalt laugh at them; thou shalt have all the heathen in derision.
9 Because of his strength will I wait upon thee: for God is my defence.
10 The God of my mercy shall prevent me: God shall let me see my desire upon mine enemies.
11 Slay them not, lest my people forget: scatter them by thy power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
12 For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
13 Consume them in wrath, consume them, that they may not be: and let them know that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. Selah.
14 And at evening let them return; and let them make a noise like a dog, and go round about the city.
15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.
16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.
17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.
(KJV)

The last category about biblical insight has three Psalms listed. Two of them are considered Messianic Psalms. The other one, Psalm 20 is a little jewel I included that is not considered a messianic Psalm but is definitely one in my thinking. The Tanach is full of rich, messianic prophecy from beginning to end and Psalms is no exception.

Psalm 201 The LORD hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee;
2 Send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion;
3 Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfill all thy counsel.
5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the LORD fulfill all thy petitions.
6 Now know I that the LORD saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
8 They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
9 Save, LORD: let the king hear us when we call.
(KJV)

We need to remember the one that sits on the right hand of God is none other than Our Lord Jesus the Christ who is mentioned as a Savior and also a warrior that kicks the butts of the wicked. Psalm 48 could also be included in this category because it has end times written all through it.

God Bless, Jim

4-17-11 for Koinonia Institute

*1 Tangled Up In Blue, Songwriters: Bob Dylan

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