As I read the Psalms, I started to think that the psalmists may have been the original religious bloggers, meaning people who wrote about their lives, triumphs and defeats, and of how God had intervened to help them, to encourage others to believe that God is able to do the same for them. To encourage the reading of the Psalms, I want to add a feature called Psalm Wednesday, in which I post a psalm, dissect it for its meanings and relevance for today, and then a prayer. Join me starting next Wednesday and every Wednesday, as we examine the Psalms. Let me give you a test drive, because you wouldn’t buy a car without a road test, would you?
Probably the most prolific of the psalmists, King David, truly put his fears, failures, and faults in the writing of Psalms that we learned as young children, even before we were believers, such as the 23rd Psalm. David used his experiences as a shepherd boy leading and protecting his father’s sheep to pour out his feelings toward a God that took such wonderful care of him through his many trials and triumphs. That’s exactly what we do in our blogs, isn’t it? We use our experiences to try to convey to others just how awesome and good God is to us, and of how He has taken care of us through the years.
We also use the knowledge that we have gained from the books that have helped us to understand and learn the Scriptures, and to grow to appreciate God’s faithfulness in a broken world. Many of us bloggers, similar to the first bloggers, have survived some of life’s most difficult moments and learned the hard way that God will see you through life’s trials and troubles. Still, I can only testify about my own experiences of His love, compassion, and care, for as the songwriter says, “You can’t tell it; let me tell it; what the Lord has done for me.”
David says in Psalm 23: 4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” David reminds us that we are never alone and that we do not fight our battles alone, something he understood as he had fought triumphantly a lion and a bear to protect his sheep, with God’s help, and had survived his many enemies, including King Saul and his own son, Absalom.
Likewise, when I first read Psalm 51, where David acknowledged his sins after committing adultery with Bathsheba and having her husband killed, I realized the power of confession to recalibrate our relationship with God. David relates that it was against God and God only that he had sinned and did evil in His sight. He asked to feel the joy again that he once felt with God, a joy lost by bad judgment, and admits that we are all sinners from the womb.
I also learned of the need for a new attitude and heart, and that it is only God’s mercy and grace that keeps Him from punishing us as we ought to be. David says in verse 10-11, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.”
Lastly, David teaches us that there is no modern sacrifice of money or good deeds that can reconcile our relationship with God after sin, but what is needed is a contrite and broken spirit, rooted in a sincere apology and a repentant heart. So, he says, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.”
So, the psalms for me tell stories that we can all relate to in our everyday lives. The Psalms are full of history, creation stories, joy, praise, thanksgiving, unfailing love, and the faithfulness of God’s promises. There are reminders that God rescues the needy and the poor, that God “feels pity for the weak and the needy” (Psalms 72 and 107), and so should we as His ambassadors. So, as a Christian blogger, I hope that my stories help others understand my Creator, Savior, Comforter, and Redeemer, just as the stories from the first religious bloggers have done for centuries.
For example, we have all had our sleepless nights worrying over people, problems, bills, or other difficulties that threaten to defeat our sense of calm assurance that God is with us. I know that as a teenage girl at home alone at night, I used to fear someone breaking in and hurting me, so I could not sleep, which meant I could not learn at school. My aunt told me to read and remember Psalm 4:8: “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” It worked then and still does when I am struggling with insomnia.
I believe that reading a psalm a day would be beneficial for everyone, mainly because the problems and difficulties of the psalmists, especially King David, are repeated in our lives, albeit in different forms. We have enemies that seek to destroy our reputations and integrity. We struggle with battles such as depression, low self-esteem, or fear of failure. There are many trails, tribulation, and terrors that we deal with that the early bloggers dealt with, too. So, the Psalms are as relevant today as they were back centuries ago.
I know this to be true through the blogs I read in The Daily Post. Those first religious bloggers covered every possible scenario of life in the 150 Psalms that, if a psalm were read every day, I believe that it would lift your spirits and constantly remind you that God is with you, as He promised. You only need to read a portion of each one, if you do not have time to read the whole psalm, especially Psalm 119, which might take a while.
Psalm 112:7-9 states of God’s people who trust in Him, learn His commands, and then obey them, “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need.Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.”
I am encouraged by these early bloggers, and I am encouraged also by the more modern bloggers whom I follow and read every day, whose words daily touch my heart and feed my confident hope that good shall triumph over evil. I am inspired, encouraged, and my soul is refereshed each day by blogging both past and present.