Wisdom from the Psalms

Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands” (Psalm 119:66).

As a young child, I did not particularly enjoy reading the Psalms.  I found them to be boring, and I could not understand or relate to them.  Upon my confirmation, I received a red-letter, King James Version Bible with very thin pages and no commentary to help explain what I was reading.  Years later I overheard a man ask a preacher, “What version (King James, NIV, NRSV, etc.) of the Bible is the best?”  The preacher responded, “The best version is whatever version you will open and read.”  I think this is great advice, but I might add one small caveat.  Perhaps the best version of the Bible is the one that you read and understand.  As you mature in your faith, you will develop a deeper desire to grow in your understanding, and multiple versions and multiple commentaries will be beneficial.

The Psalms seemed to me to mainly be the cries of King David.  I did not understand his problems or his Psalms.  Later in life, I have developed a much better appreciation for the Psalms and a better understanding of David’s life.  I will never claim to be an expert on any aspect of the Bible, but I do enjoy learning more each day – some days more than others.

Most Christians will open Proverbs or James if they are seeking wisdom, and they will certainly find much wisdom.  However, the Psalms also have much wisdom to offer.  I have spent several weeks reading through the Psalms and have come away with five themes that speak to me.  I encourage you to do the same, and you may come away with different themes that speak to you.  Below are the five themes that I discerned.  They were a blessing to me, and I pray that they are a blessing to all that read this.

Teach  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).

Gladden  And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, [And] oil to make his face to shine, And bread that strengtheneth man’s heart” (Psalm 104:15).

Restore  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me”   (Psalm 51:12).

Satisfy  Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (Psalm 90:14).

Favor  For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor, You will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12).

Prayer:  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14 KJV).  Amen.

Meet the Author

Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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