It was early in 2010 that I undertook one of the most enriching Bible studies I have ever done. It was then that I tackled the nearly 2,500 verses of the book of Psalms. I began by going over each verse in at least a dozen translations and paraphrases, writing out those which stated the verse in the most compelling manner. This took nearly six months to accomplish. Next I went all the way back to the beginning—Psalm One—and studied each psalm verse by verse through different commentaries, most notably Charles Spurgeon’s excellent work, The Treasury of David.
The accumulative effect on my spiritual life was tremendous. There were many days that it seemed as if the very life of God was flowing into my inner being through the rich text I was studying. Some days I would literally spend hours in it—unable to pull myself away from it! It truly left a deep imprint upon my soul.
In my Bible study entitled, He Leads Me Beside Still Waters, I wrote the following regarding the book of Psalms:
“Through it all one cannot escape the fact that the book of Psalms is an utterly candid compilation of the mental struggles of these different men; of their varying seasons of joy, anguish and despair; of their highest hopes and deepest fears; of their conflicts or even failures with sin; of their disgust for self-serving flatterers and their compassion for the needy; and most of all, for their overarching appreciation for the Lord’s sovereign involvement in their lives.
“The book of Psalms is a treasure chest of the most profound interactions between pious men and a loving, caring God. David, its most prominent writer, was called a man after God’s own heart. What could be more beneficial and rewarding than to contemplate his times of intimate communion with a holy God?”
As I soaked in this marvelous compilation of ancient prayers through various translations, I found myself uncovering new treasures at an alarming rate. It’s no wonder I had such a difficult time withdrawing from my study time. I felt like the burglar who broke into a mansion which had high-priced valuables secreted throughout. The thought that I might discover a new nugget of truth in the next verse kept me diligently searching.
I became so blessed by these many nuggets of truth that I began writing them down. I did this for the sheer enjoyment of it and never thought about it going any further than that. But someone suggested the truths I had discovered could make a wonderful devotional for other people. Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that. All I can say is that I was greatly blessed in this undertaking and I hope you will be as well!
Feel free to copy and paste each week’s homework onto your personal computer or share with a friend.–SG