If you’re like me, you find yourself in seasons when you can’t take the news anymore. Not surprising since the business model of most cable news outlets is to gin up outrage to capture your eyes. Stop warring with news reports and find peace in a place that soothes the heart. I offer you five reasons to meditate on the Psalms.
1. As an aid to worship. Worship isn’t just a place, a service, or music. It is acknowledging God and His intervention in human affairs. “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name! The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (29:2,11). “Praise Him for His mighty deeds; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness” (150:2).
2. When life is not going well. Julie Andrews sang about roses, kittens, and mittens, favorite things to remember when the dog bites and the bee stings. But when light thoughts cannot lift the weight of life, the Psalms helps you cast your burden on the One who loves you. “Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue” (120:2). “Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me; fighting all day long he oppresses me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You” (56:1,3).
3. If you like poetry. Ancient Hebrew poetry uses parallelism, meaning lines are linked to affirm or oppose each other. “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” (51:2-3). “He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked” (146:9). “The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and gives” (37:21).
4. When nature inspires you. Psalm 8 speaks of babies, the moon, and stars. It reflects on God’s care for humans and human care for animals. It closes with, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!” In another place, “The God of glory thunders, the Lord is over many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful” (29:3-4).
5. To know who Jesus is: “He said to Me, You are my Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance” (2:7-8). “My God, my God why have You forsaken me? All who see me sneer at Me. They pierced My hands and My feet. They divide My garments among them” (22:1,7,16,18).
Another way to enjoy the Psalms is through the work of modern hymn writers like Keith and Kristen Getty. (Lookup Psalm 24 on YouTube for a Celtic rhythm.) Either way, let the Psalms refresh your soul. Whatever is lovely, whatever worthy of praise, dwell on these things.