I’m looking at just one psalm today but it’s a good one. You’ll notice I skipped Psalm 13. It was a perfectly good psalm that I enjoyed reading, but nothing really jumped out at me in it for the purposes of this blog. So just in case you were wondering, that’s why I skipped writing about it.
In this Psalm of David, the theme is a search for the Godly. David illustrates a dismal picture of just how many wicked people are around. The first verse that jumped out at me was about God searching for the Godly.
Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
When I read that verse I had a really strong thought. If God’s ever scanning the earth looking for believers, I want Him to see me! Don’t you just love that idea? That God is purposely looking across the face of the earth for great believers, and He stops when He gets to you. In a way I feel like maybe it’s selfish or self aggrandizing to say this, but then I remember that He’s my dad. What kid doesn’t want their father to take notice of them? I try my hardest to live a holy life because I love God, and because I want to effectively share God’s love with others. But man, I just can’t help but think how special it would be to have His gaze stop on me, to just feel that supernatural thumbs up from Almighty God. It’s something to strive for, I think. I want to live in a manner that captures His attention and brings a smile to His face.
For the purpose of this psalm, David paints a picture of God not having much success as He searches the world for believers. But as the wicked people of the planet become more corrupt, things don’t go so great for them. There’s also an uplifting message of hope for the poor here.
Psalm 14:5-6 There they are in great terror, for God is with the generation of the righteous. 6 You would shame the plans of the poor, but the Lord is his refuge.
One thing I’ve really enjoyed in my study of the Psalms is to read them in my main bible, which is an English Standard Version translation, and then read them in The Message bible. In particular, I love how verses 5-6 are presented in The Message. Before I share it, I will say that I personally feel like The Message is an awesome book, but that it probably shouldn’t be your main bible. This is a version of the bible that a guy did 20 or so years ago where he did a modern english translation straight from the original Greek text of the bible. He spoke about trying to capture the vitality and directness of the original text and bring it to life in a new translation. I love it dearly, I really do, but I just feel as if your main bible should be a more traditional style translation. That’s my personal feeling, and I’d suggest that you pray about your bible choice and consult a spiritual authority in your life about what they believe you should read and study.
So, on with The Message version of the above verse.
Psalm 14:5-6 (The Message) Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true.
The Message almost always has a very vivid, almost guttural style, and never is that more evident than in the Psalms. “Night is coming for them, and nightmares,”. How awesomely worded is that? The wicked are in great terror, because they’ve picked the wrong battle. Going against God always ends the same way. God wins.
CLOSING AND PRAYER
I’m keeping the post a little shorter today to make up for that massive wall of text from yesterday. I know I’ve said it many times, but I’m just so happy to be studying in the book of Psalms. There’s a beauty and a calmness to this book of the Bible that I’ve found to be such a comfort.
For prayers today, I want to share one that I do often. Today let’s pray and just thank God for His word, the Bible. He didn’t strand us on earth alone, He gave us this beautiful book that contains Him. It’s a comfort to us, a guiding hand, and a view into our Heavenly Father’s mind and heart. So take a second to tell Him thanks for the gift of the Word.
The blog is off tomorrow but I’ll be back on Thursday with more Psalms. I hope that everyone’s week is off to a good start. Mine is going beautifully so far! I love you guys, and I know I say it a lot but take a second today to take a deep breath and remember that the God of all creation loves you, too.