Bible Reading Notes—Step 6: Week 34

Sunday – Psalm 1

This is a fitting introduction to the whole of the Psalms. People have choices. They can choose to be righteous or choose not to be. The righteous must learn God’s ways and avoid the ways of the wicked. If they do, they are like a tree planted next to a stream. They never lack what they need and are fixed like a tree. They are like a fruitful tree and are blessed by God. On the other hand, the wicked are like dry chaff that the wind blows away until they are no more.

Monday – Psalm 2

Here we have a picture of God’s King reigning from mount Zion (that is Jerusalem). However, the nations believe that they can rebel against this king. God laughs at the foolishness of this proposal. The King turns out to be God’s own son, who will rule with an iron sceptre. The kings of the earth are advised to think again, for they have no idea what they are taking on. We can identify God’s King as Jesus, because he was anointed and God is his father (Acts 4:25-27). This is therefore a picture of the future reign of Jesus from Jerusalem.

Tuesday – Psalm 6

This Psalm was written by David when he was sick. David recognises that sicknesses come from God and when this happens a prayerful appeal for God to help should take place. David fears for his life and tells God that, if he is dead, he will not be able to praise God. He does not want his enemies to gloat over him in his death. David is confident that his prayer has been heard, even though his healing is not accomplished by the end of the Psalm itself. David will sing this Psalm anyway, praising God for what He is about to do. Surely God will take pleasure in such a person and restore him to health!

Wednesday – Psalm 16

David trusted in God throughout his life, even when his life was hard. Here he praises God that his trust has been rewarded. God has provided him with a good land as an inheritance. He rejoices in his trust in God. More specifically, his trust in God means that he will not fear even death. He knows that ultimately he will receive eternal life coupled with eternal joy. This is the hope of all who trust in God. Through this Psalm, we are invited to put God always at our right hand and have the same hope. This is what Jesus did, and the words of this Psalm are quoted in Acts 2 concerning Jesus. So we can see that Jesus trusted in God and did not fear death.

Thursday – Psalm 19

This Psalm seems to have two unrelated parts. The first part is about the heavenly bodies (the Sun and stars), and the second part is about the law of God. With a little meditation, we can see that these are linked. God made both the heavens and His own law. Just as the heavenly light guides people through their lives, so God’s law guides people through their lives. God’s laws can give radiance, joy and wisdom. Living by God’s laws is the way to really live. In particular, it can keep us from deliberate and inadvertent sins, so that we can be blameless. If we do this, then God, looking down from heaven, will be pleased with us.

Friday – Psalm 22

The first words of this Psalm are those used by Jesus as he was crucified. This directs us to think of Jesus as we read the Psalm. Many, if not all, the thoughts of this Psalm can be applied to Jesus, and we have an insight into the thoughts of Jesus in his darkest hour on the cross. We have reference to the piercing of his hands and feet, the dividing of his garments, even the words of the mockers are mentioned. The Psalm was written centuries before Jesus, and yet is an accurate account of his death. It does not end there, according to this Psalm. God does not ignore this suffering. Through this suffering, all the families of the nations will give glory to God, who rules over the nations. There is a purpose behind the suffering of Jesus.

Saturday – Psalm 23

This is one of the most well-known parts of Scripture. God describes His relationship with His people as that of a shepherd to the sheep. A shepherd pastures the sheep, provides them with fresh water, leads them safely, heals the sick, and comforts the sheep by His presence, even when there is danger of death. The image moves away from sheep to people. God prepares food and drink, anoints the head and gives His people goodness all their lives. More than that, there is the prospect of living in God’s house for ever. What a shepherd God is!