What psalms are your favorites? This is a difficult question for me, since life’s changing circumstances bring different psalms to the fore. However, there are several that are seldom far from my thoughts. As I sit here late at night in a quiet house reflecting on the psalms, these are my top twelve (and why).
1. Psalm 1 – Provides a baseline for positive and productive living which leads to the conviction that God is watching over me.
2. Psalm 8 – Reminds me of what an awesome God we serve and just how incredible it is that He actually does take thought of each one of us.
3. Psalm 22 – Brings my mind around to the eternal purpose of God and His choice to allow the chastisement of my peace to fall upon His one and only Son.
4. Psalm 23 – Helps me to understand what it means to live in a covenant relationship with God, who shepherds my life and leads me into an eternal dwelling place with Him.
5. Psalm 32 – This psalm, along with David’s other psalms of penitence, brings to my mind the reality that there really is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, even those of us who have really made a mess of our lives.
6. Psalm 46 – Causes me to realize that God is always here with us and He truly is at work in all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.
7. Psalm 62 – This psalm helps me to understand that nothing in this world will satisfy my heart-hunger for God. Thus I am able to echo David’s sentiment in the next psalm and declare that God’s love is better than life.
8. Psalm 73 – Gives me a godly perspective on some of life’s most perplexing questions, helping me to understand that how things turn out in the latter end is much more important than the short-term “gains” of those who spurn God’s will.
9. Psalm 86 – This psalm seems to borrow from the expressions of trust found in other psalms to show that no matter where life takes us—even if we reside in the palace as king—there will always be adversaries and adversity to overcome. Thus, we are and will always be in need of God’s provision and protection.
10. Psalm 103 – Encourages me to guard my heart against negative thoughts and destructive doubts by challenging me not to forget all the benefits that are ours as a result of living in relationship with God.
11. Psalm 121 – Reminds me that since my help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth, it only stands to reason that nothing can separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
12. Psalm 139 – Helps me keep everything in perspective. God knows me. He searches my heart and knows my innermost thoughts. With God, I can never fake it ‘til I make it. I can not run so far as to get away from Him. I can not hide so well as to avoid detection. No matter how many masks I try to wear, God sees right through them all. Therefore, even though it is not an easy course to follow, the best thing I can do with my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength as to lay them before the Lord, while humbly and sincerely praying, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
If you asked me for a list my twelve favorite psalms and explain my choices on another day, some of my answers might be different. But, these are my reflections in this moment on this day.
What are some of your favorites psalms, and why?
© Bill Williams
September 15, 2016