Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
The Book of Psalms is the largest book in the Bible with 150 chapters and 2,461 verses. Psalm 119 has 176 verses, and Psalm 117 has only two verses. It is the most quoted book of the Bible. Something from the psalms is read and quoted at weddings, funerals, and in most other church services.
Even though the psalms were written thousands of years ago by at least ten writers known as psalmists, they are just as current today as when they were first penned.
Reasons to Read the Psalms
- Read the Psalms to seek God and to establish an intimate relationship with Him.
- You can draw comfort from the Psalms when you are troubled.
- Whenever you doubt that things will not get better, read the Psalms for assurance.
- Read the Psalms for hope in the worst of times.
- When you read the Psalms, you experience God’s love and enjoy His protection.
- The Psalms teach readers how to live, love, wait, have faith and trust God.
- When going through troubling times, the Psalms help you to focus on God's promises.
- When in doubt, reading something from the Psalms will help tremendously.
- The Psalms let you know what pleases God.
- The Psalms can be a source of encouragement at any time.
- Unlike other books of the Bible, you can read any psalm because you do not have to read what comes before it or after it to understand the one you are currently reading.
- When you don't know what to read in the Bible, always default to one of the Psalms.
All Christians should know some verses from the Psalms to help them when they are troubled. Scriptures from the book bring comfort, healing, and deliverance. They prove that God is faithful and His promises are always true. In times of doubt, the Psalms provide assurance.
Once people find a scripture that helps, they tend to stick with that scripture. If you don't have a favorite scripture, here are some to start with.
Psalm 23:1 states, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." The psalmist says that the Lord is like a shepherd to him. The Lord is in the role of a shepherd to provide for his sheep.
Because the Lord is his shepherd he won't lack anything he needs. When the Lord is your shepherd you shall not want because you have everything you need.
Now that you are familiar with the first verse of Psalm 23, read the other five verses to get a list of things a shepherd does for his sheep because that's what a loving God does for us.
Psalm 25:9 states, "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way." As long as a person stays humble and does what is right, he doesn't have to worry about God's guidance. God will not only guide the person, but He will also teach him His way of doing things.
The humble in the above scripture includes the meek, the gentle, the teachable, and the prayerful. A humble person is the opposite of a proud person who acts like he already so much that he cannot be taught anything else.
God will teach the humble through different methods that might include the following ways.
- By His word
- By His Spirit
- By His providence
- By the godly counsel of others
A humble person can trust God to guide him and to teach him His way so that he will not fall into error.
Psalm 27:1 says, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
First, David declares who the Lord is. He uses two metaphors: his light and his salvation. Then he asks a rhetorical question, "Whom shall I fear? The obvious answer is "no one" especially since he had already declared that the Lord is his light and his salvation.
In the second part of the same verse, David says, "The Lord is the strength of his life." Again, he uses a metaphor to describe God: the strength of his life. There is another rhetorical question, "Of whom shall I be afraid." It is parallel to the first question. Therefore, the answer is the same.
Since the Lord is the psalmist's light, salvation, and strength, he doesn't fear anyone. We shouldn't be afraid of anyone either.
Psalm 27:10 states, "When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up." This is a very comforting scripture for those who feel they have been forsaken by the very people who should have their back. Notice that David did not say "if" at the beginning of the scripture. He says "when." This means it is likely to happen by your own relatives who should be the closest ones to you.
The psalmist explains that God will always support those who don't have earthly support. David deliberately uses the phrase, "will take me up." That is good news for those who have to reach up to touch bottom. It means that no matter how low a person goes, God will lift him up.
Think of someone lifting a baby up when the infant cries. The person who lifts the baby up will also care for him whether it is to change his diaper or to feed him.
Psalm 32:8 states, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye upon you." This is such good news because no one should live in darkness.
The three verbs indicate how God will guide those who serve him. They will be instructed, taught and counsel all with God's watching him with His loving eye. These three action verbs let us know what a good teacher should do.
Psalm 37:1-2 advises, "Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb."
This scripture is unlike many scriptures in the Bible. Most of them tell us what to do. However, this one tells us what not to do. In fact, the first part of the above scripture tells us two things not to do.
- Fret not thyself because of evildoers.
- Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Then the psalmist tells us why we should fret not and be not envious of evildoers even though it is human nature to think they have it made. The second part tells us God will deal with them according to their behavior. Therefore, we are not to waste time and energy being envious of those who do wrong because they will not be around doing it for long. They will be cut down like grass and wither quickly as the green herb.
Psalm 37:4 advises, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.." Unlike most scriptures, this one is conditional. There is something you must do in order for God to do the second part of the scripture.
Your part: Delight yourself in the Lord.
God's part: He will give you the desires of your heart.
Notice there is an "s" on the word desire. That means there is no limit to what God might give you when you delight yourself in Him. Try it and see.
According to Psalm 46:10, "Be still, and know that I am God." This is a very easy scripture to memorize and perhaps understand.
Being still does not mean sitting motionless and not doing anything. The mobility of God's people is not restricted. When we are being still, we are relying on God instead of trying to do things on our own. If we could do things by ourselves, then we would have done so by now.
When you are being still, you can also accomplish the second part of that short scripture. When you are still, you can focus on God and know Him more intimately. You will know that He is sovereign and can do all things.
When you are still, you will be able to know God. When you know God, you can be still.
More Scriptures in the Psalms
The above eight verses are a random sample from the Book of Psalms. There are many more scriptures to read, study and meditate on. Find those verses that you can be committed to and make it a habit to read something from the Psalms often.
Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 09, 2020:
Jack, I grew up learning many scriptures from the Psalms. My first sermon was based on Psalm 23 way back in 1985. I have preached from many of the other Psalms over the years. In fact, I have preached "One Thing" based on Psalm 27:4, one of your favorite verses. There are so many rich verses in the Psalms. That's why I encourage people to learn some of them.
Jack Jenn from Living in hope on planet earth. on January 09, 2020:
I can't help but agree with you - Psalms are so inspirational, helpful and instructional. It was probably one of the first books in the O.T. that meant so much to me and there are so many beautiful verses it's hard to single out any as a favourite but 27: 4 comes close for me.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that I will seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.
I would think this verse could be a favourite of many too.
Again Margaret, my best regards,