by: Rich Vaughan
The book of Psalms covers about 900 years of Jewish history and writings. There are at least 7 different authors beginning with Moses. King David is considered to have written 73 of the 150 psalms. The Psalms date from 1410 BC (Psalm 90) to the late 6th or 5th century BC. (Psalm 126)
Many people have a favorite Psalm. Of course the 23rd Psalm is a consistent favorite as is the 121st Psalm. Do you have a favorite? Two of mine are Psalm 37 and Psalm 139:1-18. Those Psalms remind me to trust God. That is so easy to type but not so easy to live. I have found in my journey as a Christian, and as a pastor, that I can trust God so much easier when everything is going well. When there are no problems in the church I am serving, when there are no family issues, (What? Pastor families have issues?! Of course we do, I mean, we are hanging out with the laity all the time! – JUST KIDDING). But the truth for all of us is that trusting God is so much easier when everything seems right and there are no dark clouds, deep valleys, or stormy seas. But we are called to trust God in the sunshine and the storm.
Think of these ancient words from the past that cover 900 years of Jewish history. They cover times of joy (the Exodus) and heartache (again the Exodus). They cover the rise of all of kings and kingdoms. They cover the fear of invading armies and the impact of death. They cover the joy of worship and the amazement of creation. The book of Psalms theme is consistent. Real life being lived in the real world. Psalm 117 is the exact middle of our Bible. Psalm 117 says, “Praise the Lord all you nations! Extol Him all you peoples! For great is His steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever! Praise the Lord!” What is really wild, powerful, and faith empowering is the verse that is in the exact middle of our Bible. It is Psalm 118:8. (By the way, there are 1188 chapters before and 1188 chapters after!) Psalm 118:8 says, “IT IS BETTER TO TAKE REFUGE IN THE LORD THAN TO PUT CONFIDENCE IN MORTALS.” That preaches! And for those who do not think the Bible was God’s Spirit all through it, just start by trying to explain the Psalms that seems to follow a divine pattern over 900 years! Maybe that is why we are called upon as Christians to trust the Lord in all things. More on this later but for now… “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will act!” (Psalm 37:5) Amen? Amen!