Couple of weeks ago we reflected on the life of King David who was noted as a man after God’s own heart despite his many human failings. In him we saw a person who had a deep understanding of the nature of God. No matter what kind of a dire situation he was in, he would run to God rather than run away from God.
- After his adulterous affair with Bathsheba was brought to light, he genuinely repented and confessed his sins before God (2 Samuel 12:13 and Psalm 51) rather than turn away from God.
- When his son was deadly sick, he spent time fasting and praying before the Lord (2 Samuel 12:16) hoping to change the outcome but after his son died, he did not turn back from God but rather went into the presence of the Lord and worshiped the Lord in his pain (2 Samuel 12:20-23).
- When he was cursed by Shimei, instead of trying to stop it (as was suggested), he simply left the matter into God’s hands to deal with (2 Samuel 16:10-12).
- After he realizes the sin of counting the fighting men, he repents. Then when he had to choose the punishment, he chose to fall into the hands of the Lord rather than men for he knew of God’s grace and mercy (2 Samuel 24:10-14).
So, why am I taking us back to revisit parts of David’s character? Because this week in our journey, I want us to look at the book of Psalms which is a rich collection of many prayers, poems, songs, hymns and prophetic declarations.
And David wrote more Psalms rather any other person.
And the Psalms provide us with great examples of how we may relate to God the way David and other Psalm writers did.
And as you take a closer look at Psalms you will find that there is a Psalm for every situation you are going through.
If you are filled with awe and praise towards God and need more words to express your adoration, there are Psalms that will help you with that. These are known as declarative Psalms.
If you are troubled and in despair or facing a storm or in the midst of a hopeless situation, there is a Psalm for that….actually more than one. These are known as Lament Psalms.
If you realize you have sinned, again you will find a Psalm or two to help you confess your sin before the Lord to set things straight and not run away from Him.
No matter the situation, I assure you that you will find at least a Psalm or two to help you communicate your feelings and emotions before God.
Through declaring the Psalms, we can reach out and touch the very heart of God. We can express praise for the glory and majesty of the one who is seated on the throne or we can lay our bare hearts before Him in utter transparency.
He already knows how we’re feeling and what we are going through. So we may as well talk to Him rather than turn our backs on Him.
As I look back on my own life, and reflect on some of the darkest periods of my life when I was literally walking through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4), I have found most of my comfort in reading the lament Psalms.
My favorites are those that start gloomily but ends with hope and trust in God. Because even as we pour out our sorrow and tears before the Lord, He is more than able to draw us deeper into His presence. And in His presence He is able to impart hope and trust back into our fragile beings. That is why it is always better to run towards God rather than away from Him no matter how awful your situation may be.
So, please join me this week in journeying through the book of Psalms and allow them to feed our souls and draw us into a deep place of intimacy with our Lord. Maybe we too can experience what it means to be a woman or man or a child after God’s own heart.
To help us with the journey, I have created the below overview of the book of Psalms to give us a quick glance of what it contains so that we are not overwhelmed by its volume.
And you may also find it helpful to view this short animated video on the book of Psalms put together by The Bible Project.
And below is more guidance on how you can pursue this journey through Psalms on your own…
The biblical Psalms are filled with praises and prayers to help us express our emotions to the Holy God so that we may experience intimacy with Him in His presence.
Weekly Reading Plan
For this week, instead of me prescribing something, what you read is totally up to you. Below is a list of all the Psalms grouped by the section along with the author and the type of Psalm it is. Based on the situation you are experiencing this week, feel free to pick a Psalm or two each day that is applicable for you.
However, if at all possible, do try to vary it a bit each day.
But if you need my suggestions, here are some of my favorites:
1 – Godly and the ungodly
2 – God is God of the Nations
8 – Humanity
19 – The Glory of God
22 – Picturing the Suffering on the Cross
23 – The Shepherd Psalm
27 – Hope in the Lord even in Hopeless Situations
42 – He satisfies my thirst
46 – God is my Refuge and Fortress
51 – Model for a Repentant Heart
73 – God is good in the midst of my trials
84 – Expression of trust in the Lord
90 – Moses’ Psalm filled with wisdom
91 – Lord is my Refuge
98 – Singing a new Song to the Lord
100 – Worship the Lord
103 – Praising God for all Aspects
107 – Psalm of Thanks
139 – I am intimately known by God
150 – Praising God
Don’t forget to use the template I shared previously to help you on this journey.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Read at least one Psalm from each of the categories.
- Re-write Psalm 23 or another favorite Psalm using your own words for your own situation.
- Compose your own hymn of thanks to the Lord reciting and remembering His goodness in your life.
- Compose your own prayer pleading for God’s mercies over a situation that requires His mighty intervention in your own life or in the life of a loved.
And that is it for week 16!
Happy Bible Learning!