Why Study Psalms?
I'm having a lot of fun with this series so far. Last week I talked about how God is matchless. It's important to dig into a Psalm regularly because it feels right to regularly give praise to God. Sometimes, when we don’t have the words to praise Him or to call out to Him, we can read a Psalm that perfectly puts feelings into words. Have you ever seen a comment on social media that you totally agree with and instead of adding anything, you simply say, “What she said.” When I read Psalms, I find myself saying, “Lord, what he said.”
A fun thing to do is google someone's net worth. It's weird that we're privy to that information, but it's always interesting to hear the net worth of people who are crazy rich. Jeff Bezos is said to be worth 107 billion dollars. Let that number sink in for a second. Impossible right? Because it’s a number we can’t fathom. And I don’t have to fathom it because it might as well be a fairytale. His wealth doesn’t really affect me (though I add to it whenever I buy something on Amazon).
When it comes to famous people, everyone knows someone. Have you ever been around someone who likes to name-drop? If you’ve met the president, she’s met the king. Maybe she has a distant connection to someone who’s sort of famous and finds a way to work it into every conversation. It can be annoying. You want to say, "You feel like you know that person, but would that person recognize you?" Probably don’t say that. It might not be good for your friendship.
And yet, we have a deep connection with the creator of the universe. The one who puts everything in motion and keeps it in motion and we hardly ever name-drop about him.
God is Personal
Psalm 139 and many, many other places in the Bible make it clear that God isn’t just great, he’s personal. Take a minute to read this passage. I challenge you to read it aloud so you don’t accidentally skim over the parts that are familiar. Read it like the beautiful poetry it is:
You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Think of the people you know best. Your spouse or your kids. You can tell when something’s off with them. You know their habits and their interests, but you probably don’t know their words completely before they say them. You probably can’t perceive their thoughts from afar. Though, how great would that be in the teen years? Can I get an amen?
The first verse of this chapter always gets me, “You searched me Lord, and you know me.” The reason it gets me is because he knows me and he loves me. He knows my thoughts and secrets and he still loves me.
The passage goes on to say we can’t get away from God. He’s everywhere. He hems us in and goes before and behind us. He’s everywhere in this world he created.
And in the list of things he created is me. He created my “inmost being” and “knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Guys. I like to knit, but I can only do scarves. I can’t even knit a hat much less a human. I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made” by the creator himself.
And my net worth? In God’s eyes, I’m worth much more than 107 billion dollars. When you send your son to die for someone, no price is too high.
As a mom, there are days when I just don’t see it. I feel more like a sandwich-maker or a taxi-driver or laundry service. I don’t feel like God’s creation “fearfully and wonderfully made”. But my feelings don’t change the truth. And God thinks I’m pretty special.
What should we do with this truth?
1. Remember it.
Remind yourself of it when you're not feeling it. Behave like someone loved and created by God. Our prayers, schedules, priorities, and parenting should exclaim we understand this truth. Our net worth is priceless to a perfect God.
2. Tell someone.
Maybe it’s time to get to the business of telling others this truth. It’s time to name-drop and let others know about a God who knows us and still loves us. Who created us and guides us. For someone we love, these words may be the difference between despair and everlasting joy.