Wow, we did it! If you have followed along with me this summer, then you have just completed reading through the ENTIRE book of Psalms! It has been a rich study and I have learned a lot. I just wanted to take the time to write out what I’m learning and I’d love to hear what you have learned too! Please leave a comment below with your takeaway or your favorite Psalm.
Here are my 2 big takeaways from this summer study of the Psalms.
God is in the Details.
I’m sure you read that heading and know exactly which Psalm I’m thinking of, Psalm 139. This Psalm really covers all the bases when it comes to the details. It is a great reminder that God knows everything about us, inside and out, the hairs on our heads.
Verse 16 is especially encouraging to me: “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.”
In his commentary on the Psalms, Calvin comments on this verse, “Though the members were formed in the course of days, or gradually, none of them had existed; no order or distinctness of parts having been there at first, but a formless substance. And thus our admiration is directed to the providence of God in gradually giving shape and beauty to a confused mass.”
God knows everything about us. He knew us and grew us even when we were just a “confused mass” of cells. He knew what all the days of our lives would look like even before there was one of them! What a mighty God we serve!
This summer has brought lots of changes in my own life and the truth that God knew about all of them before I did has encouraged me immensely. It helps me to take the changes one step at a time when I know that God has ordained them to be so. He is on the throne and in charge even when my life is topsy-turvy changing.
We Need to Praise God.
If we attend church regularly, we all have that set apart time to praise God in song with fellow believers. But the Psalms have taught me that we need to be praising God all the time. The psalmist explicitly tells his soul to praise God when he is down-trodden in Psalm 42. He says, “Why are in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”
Our praise should rise up to God no matter what is happening in our lives. We can praise Him for the good in our lives when our lives are good. And praise Him for the work He is doing in our lives when we are in trials.
Then when I got to the end of the Psalms (146-150), they are FULL of praise to God for specific things and for broad subjects in the earth. Making a mental list of what to praise God for is a great way to keep your mind focused on Him instead of on your circumstances.
Here are a few verses from that section:
Psalm 146:8, “The Lord opens the eyes of the bling; The Lord raises up those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous.”
Psalm 147:1, “Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming.”
Psalm 148:5-6, “Let them praise the name of the Lord, For He commanded and they were created. He has also established them forever and ever; He has made a decree which will not pass away.”
Psalm 149:1-4, “Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song, And His praise in the congregation of the godly ones. Let Israel be glad in his Maker; Let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”
Psalm 150:1-2, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty expanse. Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.”
These verses from the Psalms really bring a New Testament verse to life, 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
We bring God glory when we praise Him while we are going throughout our days. Whether we are working at home, taking care of our babies, cleaning the house, or running errands. We can find reasons to praise God and give Him the glory for all the work we do.
And, to build on the first takeaway, we can also praise God that He is in the details. I have found it so heartening to praise Him for the tiny details throughout the day. Like how I was scouring the internet looking for good deals on clothing for my toddler when a friend from church messaged me asking when she could drop off a bag of clothes for us. Then when we got the bag and opened it, there was a perfect pair of rain boots for our upcoming move to Oxford! God is truly in the details, and when we recognize this throughout our busy days, we bring glory to Him for the work He is doing “behind-the-scenes” in our lives.
Those are my two big takeaways. While I learned SO much, these two have really hit home and showed me where I was falling short before. Recognizing God’s work in my life is a important skill that I need to work on. I have been keeping a journal throughout this study of the Psalms and I’m so thankful. Now I have a way to look back and remember just what I learned and what pricked my heart throughout this time in God’s Word. And I am sure that will help me remember to see God at work and praise Him for it.
Now it’s your turn! Tell me your takeaway from the Psalms this summer in the comments below!