Day 8: Imagining the Psalms

IMG_6679Yesterday evening, Springtime allergies gave me a walloping and today I awoke with a horrible sinus headache, runny nose, itchy eyes and zero energy from sleeping so poorly. Plans for the day were reworked and I defaulted to a less strenuous challenge for Day 8. (Woohoo! I’m on week two!)

A number of my friends have decided to join me in the 30-day Challenge, each creating their own versions of how they would approach it. My sister-in-law has made her challenge to read through the Psalms – five per day – using the Message translation of the Bible, with the intention of gaining new insight and perspective.

Since I had also been reading the Psalms just prior to starting my challenge, I decided that today I would engage in a Psalm-related activity, as well. I have an audio Bible and I listened to a dramatic reading of the first 50 Psalms: perfect for a quiet, give-the-eyes-a-rest kind of day. What I chose to focus on was the imagery and, in particular, the various expressions used to depict and communicate a picture of the character of God, of who He is for us, and of who and how we are when we live in communion with Him.

I will share some of my favorites with you…

Psalm 1 so beautifully describes how firmly rooted and flourishing we are when we make God’s teachings our delight, meditating on them day and night:

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He is like a tree
planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.

 


Psalm 18 makes several bold analogies to the fortitude of our God and the safe place He provides for us…

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I love You, Lord,
my strength.

The Lord is my rock,
my fortress,
and my deliverer,
my God,
my mountain where I seek refuge,

my shield
and the horn of my salvation,

my stronghold.

I love to picture the intensity of our Creator’s power, of how creation itself bows down and obeys at the sound of his voice (Psalm 29):

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The voice of the Lord is above the waters.
The God of glory thunders,
the Lord, above vast waters,
the voice of the Lord in power,
the voice of the Lord in splendor.
DSC09238The voice of the Lord
breaks the cedars;
the Lord shatters
the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip
like a calf, 
and Sirion,
like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord
flashes flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord
shakes the wilderness.


And how I identify with the yearning portrayed in the first verses of Psalm 42!
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As a deer
longs
for streams of water,

so I long
for You,
God.

I thirst for God,
the living God.

 

 

Finally, our Father’s omnipotence and dominion over all things reminds me that He is fully able to provide for all that I need, as Psalm 50 reflects,

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Every animal of the forest is Mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the mountains,
and the creatures of the field are Mine.

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I look forward to continuing to delve into the Psalms further along in my 30-day challenge, possibly taking a different approach. I love how the Psalmists express so many emotions: their fears and hesitations, confidence and wonder, disappointment and discouragement. Yet they always seem to return to that solid foundation upon which they stand, knowing that while their feelings are significant, they cannot be their guide.

I too am so grateful that whatever winds may blow my way, and no matter how I may falter, my feet remain planted on the Rock of my Salvation.
My stronghold.
So I will not be shaken.

 

 

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One thought on “Day 8: Imagining the Psalms

  1. Pingback: Day 27: Resting Psalm More | Reflections from Beyond My Doorstep

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