Since becoming a ‘reinstated’ (or maybe I should say ‘Born again Christian’ but that term kind of scares me and conjures up weird stereotypes) Christian and embarking on a relationship with God. (Which took me totally by surprise). I make an effort to do the things that a Christian is supposed to do, one of which is to read and study the Bible.
At this time in my life I am really enjoying learning from the Psalms. I have the New Living Translation edition of the Holy Bible.
I decided to go through the Psalms and and jot down the commands (using my interpretation) as well as the promises. My intention for doing this is so that I have a basic blueprint for my life. I want to know exactly what I should and shouldn’t do according to the Bible, and then I want to ensure that I am putting what I know into action, so that I am living the life God intended for us.
I am no theologian that much is obvious, I am just a regular SOBER person trying to live a better life using the sound principles in the Bible so please feel free to comment and add to anything I write here.
Psalms Book One
Psalm 1; The commands;
- Do not follow the advice of those who are ungodly
- Do not hang out with sinners or those who make fun of others
- Read, study, memorize, meditate, and internalize the words of the Bible on a daily basis.
The promises in Psalm 1
- Each season you will bear fruit and will prosper in all that you do (If you follow the commands of course!)
- The Lord will watch over you
Psalm 3; The commands;
- Do not let anger control you. When angry, give yourself time to think it through overnight. Remain silent. Do not give in to the temptation of releasing your anger verbally. (I have a hard time with this one, but I keep trying!)
- Offer sacrifices to the Lord (what are modern day sacrifices? possibly good deeds?), and TRUST the Lord. (I love learning to ‘Trust’ in God. I often do this by praying about something and then leaving it in his hands and not letting myself think about the situation any further. Then, without fail, God intervenes with an answer of some sort, or he will change the heart of someone. This is what I find amazing about faith. These answers to prayer are truly tangible and extremely personal and help to cement my faith).
- Go to sleep in peace and know that God will keep you safe. (Everynight without fail I pray when I get into bed. I don’t recall having any trouble sleeping since I began doing praying at night even when I am experiencing difficult times. Thinking back, when I was newly sober, I had awful sleeping experiences..I wish I knew then what I know now).
The promises in Psalm 3;
- The Lord will answer when you call on him
Psalm 4; The commands;
- Bring your requests through prayer to the Lord each morning. Do this with a hopeful and expectant attitude
- Do not be proud
- Do not lie
- Do not murder or deceive
- Ask for direction, ask for God’s guidance to be clear so that you may easily know how to follow and choose the right path
- Worship at church
- Praise God
- Be thankful to God
The promises in Psalm 5;
- He will protect you
- He will surround you with his love
- You will be filled with joy
To write the commands and promises from each Psalm is not as simple as it first seemed. Some of the Psalms are more difficult to extract a simple command or promise. In many of these first Psalms, David is obviously in distress because of his enemies. By the use of his prayer requests we are able to see what kind of acts or traits that God approved or disapproved of.
In Psalm 7 for example;
‘If I have done wrong or am guilty of injustice’ we can make out that we are not to cause injustice or do wrong in the eyes of God.
‘If I have betrayed a friend or plundered my enemy without cause’ we can determine that we are not to betray our friends or take from those who we see as our enemies. (the word ‘Plunder’ according to Answers.com means ‘to rob of goods by force, especially in time of war).
‘For you look deep within the heart and mind’
Whenever I read this passage from the Bible, (it is mentioned many times throughout). I always think that it is a great time for reflection. I ask myself ‘What is deep within my heart? What is deep within my mind?’ These are probing questions to ask yourself. When I was drinking, my mind was too fuzzled to even begin to comprehend these questions. I think that back then, all I really wanted was to be able to quit drinking and feel good inside. My answers have changed now that I no longer use alcohol.
What is within my heart now? A fragile love, a weary love, an unsure love, a hopeful love, an enormous love. Many kinds of love that I am continuing to explore. I think if God is examining my heart he will see these things.
What is within my mind? The mind of course is the most complex and difficult to explain but I will give it a go; a hunger for knowledge, understanding, achievement and meaningful relationships.
I know if God searches my mind he will see these things. I don’t however believe that these are all that he will want to find. From what I have learned from the Bible; we are supposed to cry out for ‘insight, understanding, and knowledge’ and humility is huge have much to work on. What about you?
Check your Bible and see how your interpretation of these Psalms may differ to mine. In what way do they differ? Leave your comments.
If you are looking to purchase a Bible, I have put an assortment of my recommended reading books into an Amazon application in the ‘Sobriety Books’ and the left side bar section of this blog. I have found that Amazon is usually the best priced place to buy inexpensive books aside from garage sales, thrift stores and library book sale events.