On January 1, 2022 I took up a challenge to write out 6 Psalms a month, writing out the entire book of 150 pslams in just about 2 years. I worked a little ahead and finished the challenge a couple of weeks ago. I can attest that it was an amazing experience. It just took about five minutes each morning, but slowed me down and allowed me to meditate and study what I writing. I discovered I didn’t always understand the Psalm, so sometimes I would look up commentaries or different translations. I discovered so many rich and deep themes I had just glanced over in the past. I also would write out praise, confession, thanksgiving and supplication from my verses each day and I saw just how much more powerful were the poetic descriptions of God’s attributes than were the summaries naming which attribute the verses contained. I noticed that often Psalms near one another shared a theme. I have come to love the Psalms so much more. It was such transformative experience that I am doing it again. There are 2461 verses in the Psalms. This time my plan is write out 4 verses a day and complete writing out the book in two years, with grace to miss a day here and there.
I also would look up Psalms sometimes in Ray’s commentaries or even using online resources, especially the trustworthy Matthew Henry commentary. I tried to read through a couple of books on the Psalms. Commentaries can be a bit dry. I have found one book that I am loving though. It talks a lot about the connection between Psalms and the themes of the five books of the Psalms, something that has been particularly fascinating to me over these two years. It is called “Learning to Love the Psalms” by Robert Godfrey. It makes a great companion and I am looking forward to reading it along side my Psalms as I am starting back at Psalm one.
Here is a page from my notebook, Psalm 146. You may notice that it is in Spanish. That is because I do my Bible reading (and writing) in Spanish since our ministry is done in a Spanish context.
Life in this fallen world can be painful and confusing. Explanations of why rarely satisfy. The psalms look straight at the evil in the world and challenge us to worship God even when we don’t understand and to keep our eyes fixed on Him. They express all of our emotions, our anger, our sadness, They describe the greatness of our all powerful God and they are filled with testimony of Jesus Christ.