Last summer I was a part of a small group of women who met once a week and discussed particular verses in the Psalm that we were studying. And as we were going through the verses I realized how little I understood about these verses that we were going through. I’m not saying I had never read them before, but that I had never really grasped what they were saying in their fullest extent. I would often glaze over them without digging deep into what was actually being said.
As I was reading through a Spurgeon commentary on Psalm 103 I came across a phrase that summed up my thoughts about the Psalms. “Our attempt at exposition is commenced under an impressive sense of the utter impossibility of doing justice to so sublime a composition.” In simpler terms, he is saying, “our attempt at understanding is shaded by the fact that we cannot fully grasp how fantastic this writing really is.” I believe that this is something we must keep in mind while reading our Bible. No matter how much we study and how much we try to understand we will never truly grasp everything in the scriptures. As Christians, we strive to glorify God, but we understand that we can never be perfect and I think the Psalms sum up this feeling very well.
One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalms 73. This chapter is most likely familiar to all of you, but if it is not I really recommend that you take 5 minutes to read through it. This Psalm of Asaph has been one that I have had to come back to so many times. When I let my mind wander it often leads to comparison. I compare myself to others and find myself lacking. I see all the great things that “so and so” has and I become jealous. And many times I find myself jealous of the unbeliever! This is the same thing that Asaph was struggling through, but God brought him back into right thinking. “Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end.” 1 When we let our minds get wrapped up in this world, it is easy to get a messed up perspective.
I think about the Psalms as a collection of inspired “journal entries.” I call them journal entries because when you read them you really get a sense of who that person was and what they were struggling with. When understood I think the Psalms are some of the most relatable sections of the scriptures. Now don’t misunderstand me, I believe all of the Bible is inspired and is useful, but the Psalms have a certain sense of vulnerability to them. For example, in Psalms 73 we see the internal struggle of Asaph and in Psalm 51 we see David’s prayer of repentance to God.
Yet throughout all of the different Psalms we see one remaining theme: Praise. In the darkest pits of despair to the glory of Solomon, we see their praise to God for His goodness. Let the truths of the Psalms permeate your daily life.
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, not sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” 2
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a grace-filled week!
Redeemed by the King