I’m now ready to start week 6 of our 90 day tour of the Bible in 90 Days. Much of this week has been taken up reading Psalms. Not all of them of course, but in order to be chronological, they are psalms of David.
Early in the week, we finished the life of David. David died after ruling Israel nearly 40 years. At the very end of this week, we started seeing what Solomon’s Kingdom was going to be like as he began his rule at the end of David’s life. With some of David’s other sons trying to take over the kingdom, David decided to put Solomon into position as king while he was alive to prevent all the fighting after he died.
It was interesting to watch David, as he handed over the power, to also ask Solomon to kill off a few people that David had promised not to kill for some reason. Solomon took over and did the work. Then he kept going about organizing the kingdom and continuing to fight with enemies nearby.
Recently, in my life, there have been some deaths of friends. Going to funerals, no matter how encouraging the funeral, is still a reminder that a life has been lost. There is now an empty spot in a family, church and the community. People are being missed and their loved ones and family members are adjusting to what that will be like. It is difficult. It is painful. It is sad.
The timing for my concentrated reading of the Psalms was perfect. I needed to be reading them. At times, they start off with someone who is down hearted, other times they will start with a word of thanks or an expression of praise to GOD.
No matter how it starts, each one tends to speak of who GOD is in either describing one of His attributes or thanking Him for a specific aspect of who He is. Often the attribute(s) mentioned will be stated in metaphorical terms, making it something I can mull on for quite awhile!
What are some of the metaphors for GOD and aspects of His character? Shield, Rock, taking refuge in the shadow of His wings, stronghold, Deliverer, Sustainer, Helper, strong tower, fortress, Father of the fatherless, Protector of widows…to name a few. (Well, a few of those aren’t metaphors I guess, but certainly word pictures.)
That doesn’t include the many metaphors he uses to describe how he is feeling:
“Save me, O GOD!
For the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim with waiting for my GOD.” Psalm 69:1-3
How he wants his enemies to be treated:
“Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.” Psalm 58:6
What his particular request of GOD is at the time:
“Deliver me from my enemies, O my GOD;
protect me from those who rise up against me;” Psalm 59:1
This is definitely an emotional book. Anyone who looks on their faith as something that is stoic and void of emotion, can’t have read the Psalms. It is loaded with fear, anger, distress, joy, and frequent requests for justice, not only for the one asking, but for the poor and needy.
As I have read the Psalms this week in a more concentrated form, it has helped my attitude. I have a mighty, faithful, loving, powerful GOD to whom I am praying. He is at work. He will do what is His will in time. It isn’t always on my time schedule, but it will be done when He knows the time is best. When I look back over the circumstances, usually I will agree, even with my limited perspective.
Whether you are doing the 90 day challenge or not, take time to read some of these Psalms I’ve been reading.
Here they are. For simplicity, I rounded them out so you will have a few mixed in that aren’t Psalms of David. Read a few at a time and enjoy the encouragement from them…or identify with the discouraged writer and find out where he goes for help and hope.
Psalms 3-41; 50-89; 101-110; 122-127; 131-145.