I’m so excited! This is the part of our reading plan that I have been waiting for. To begin placing some of the other readings in the Old Testament in their contexts, to read the Psalms in the settings where David wrote them, to read the prophets (Major and Minor) in the reigns of the Kings their words were directed at. To me it will open up some of the meanings in those writing as we better understand what was going on in Israel as they were being written.
And we start today.
David is on the run from Saul, he has no home base, he has no one he can trust (besides Jonathan and his 600 men), and he is alone. He is hiding in caves, hunted not just by Saul but by other kings whom David had fought against. The whole situation is pretty dire. So David writes some Psalms. Some people wander into a forest and talk out loud to God, some people write their thoughts in a journal, some people create art (everything from painting to ironworks), and other people writes songs. When David was feeling strongly and wanted to record his thoughts to God, he put them in music. Those are most of the Psalms we enjoy in our Bibles today (yes some of the Psalms were written by people other than David). As you read the Psalms, pay attention to the themes that appear in them that come out of David’s settings, his emotions during that point in his life and what we asks of God or says of God because of those life circumstances.
For instance, the Psalms we read today talk a lot about God as a stronghold and refuge, someplace David to run to for protection and rest. These Psalms also ask God to show David where he has gone wrong. David asks God to show him if his current circumstance is the consequence of sin or poor judgement; and then he calls on God to act on his behalf is David’s sin is not the source of the problem.
Something that is sticking out to me a lot as I read the Psalms this time through is David’s reliance on God to act on his behalf. Even as David deals with a vengeful and irrational Saul, David maintains his conviction not to act out against Saul. Instead, he petitions God to take care of the issue. What a faith, and what a way to live out faith! So often we think about what we can do about a difficult situation, and we may ask God for help in dealing with it, but how often do we downright leave it in God’s hand to take care of?
The Psalms are rich, both in what they teach us of worship, but also in what they teach us in how to live in God’s presence on a daily basis and what it looks like to share with God from our hearts. It’s almost like we get a peak in to David’s journal, and we can all learn a lot as we read.
- What was familiar from this passage of scripture? What was something I already knew?
- What was new from this piece of scripture? What was something that really stood out for me that I have never paid attention to before?
- Does Jesus appear in this passage of scripture?
- How does this passage apply to my life, here and now? Do I need to do anything about it?
- What prayer would I offer up to God after reading this piece of scripture?
Tomorrow’s Reading: Psalm 56, 120, 140-142