I am reading through the book of Psalms. I’ve read it before in high school, but am reading it again as I read the Bible through. It is full of variety. Some are written in angst and despair, others petition for help, some are warnings, still others are of gratefulness. Throughout are the themes God is in charge and the need to live righteously. Most of them are short which makes for quick reading.
My favorite is Psalm 4. It is very comforting and inspirational. It also sums up my beliefs fairly well. I like to read it just before I turn off my lamp each night.
Hear me when I call O God of my righteousness; thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah
But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.
Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.
Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.
This psalm doesn’t say life will be easy for those who believe. In fact it says the opposite. We are to offer sacrifices of righteousness. This is an aspect of Christianity that is often overlooked in the modern church. We are to be in awe. That’s easy. Look at a sunset, a pretty flower, or the power of the ocean if you need proof.
We are to not sin. Not sinning isn’t being preached as often as it should either. It doesn’t say sin occasionally. It says sin not. This is harder at times than others. Avoidance of the sin’s temptation is one of the larger sacrifices of righteousness.
We are to quietly meditate. We are to scorn the vanity of the world and not seek after leasing. I see this as a call to simplicity and plain living. We can’t be quiet if we have a bunch of gadgets calling for our constant attention. I think not seeking after leasing means to not want the latest, greatest thing (whether it be electronics, fashion, or other fads) to come along, but rather to live modestly within your means.
It tells us to trust in the Lord, not man. That there are many who oppose believers. They will say righteousness is wrong and shameful. There will be many who are cynical of trusting the goodness of the Lord.
However, it says God is the source of true happiness, peace, and safety. It says God has helped when in trouble and made me happy more than material goods or food. All we need to do is live righteously and trust in the Lord.
Considering all we have to gain, is this really asking much? I don’t think so.
Do you have a favorite Psalm? Which one and why? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know.