It is Day 9 in reading Psalms and Proverbs for the Billy Graham Words of Wisdom Bible Reading Plan. I am reading Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9 today. Tomorrow, I read Psalms 46-50 and Proverbs 10. You are welcome to join me.
Reading Psalms is supposed to help deepen your relationship to the Divine while reading Proverbs is supposed to help build your relationships to other humans. These are the items that stood out to me in the readings and just my stream of consciousness thoughts on them. My dog’s sitting beside me today as I type. Just his presence nearby is super comforting and I prayed a second that the Holy Spirit would give me some good ideas to write about.
Psalm 41 “Blessed is he who considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”
There’s this really great classic country song called The Outlaw’s Prayer and was sung by Johnny Paycheck way back probably in the 1970s. I guess it’s a reminder to invite and include everyone in church just as St. John the Baptist or maybe even Jesus might feel uncomfortable today if they got in a time machine and came to a big fancy Sunday church service in modern times. Here’s the song:
I guess it’s a reminder to consider the poor and be inclusive. Although, to be fair, sitting next to a wilderness guy like John who probably hadn’t had a bath in a really really long time, might honestly be a little challenging. Not gonna lie.
My church back home started up about a decade ago a little place downtown to feed the poor called The Lord’s Diner. A lot of people in the community would volunteer their time there and work really hard to make one nice meal a day for everyone in the community that might need it. Lotsa families came to the diner. It was really a great place. They made really nice meals with desserts too and there were probably 100 people including many kids at each event.
The Lord’s Diner was an idea I think of the local bishop in Wichita and the funding came through the Catholic Church and the idea of these diners was even supposedly supported by the Pope himself.
After the start of the Diner, many folks in the community would donate food items too or produce from their gardens. Several overnight facilities sprouted up too from other churches as homeless shelters. A lot of times, high school kids would receive extra credit points for school if they volunteered at the Diner too.
I guess the ending of this passage is just to say if you extend mercy to others down on their luck, someday that kindness might get repaid, or you could at least make a new friend, or God will later extend his mercy and kindness to you in return. Good karma.
It was a really good thing that they started in that small community and it certainly made a difference.
Psalm 42 “My soul thirsteth for the Lord.”
Man does not live on bread alone but on the instruction of the Word. It provides guidance of how to live and it also nourishes and renews the motivation to continue on in life. Going to church or a Bible study or even just reading some Bible time on your own can oddly make you feel better and more light-hearted and kinder towards others.
Oftentimes this time spent learning these things is called The Living Waters. I guess that fits this description of thirst.
I went to an oasis in the desert once. It was cool. It was on a sunrise trip to Masada, Israel. Masada is this huge mountain in the desert that has old ruins at the top. You climb Masada to see where the old religious community lived that held out against the Roman invasion centuries and centuries ago. It’s a heckuva hard climb in the heat and among the rocks on a tiny little mountain path to the top and by the time you get up there, you’re face is red and you’re breathing super hard. I honestly don’t know how these folks survived up there and even built homes cause I would not want to climb that daily….no way.
“Hey Bill, go get some groceries and bring them back or fetch some water from the well and bring it up?”
“Uh….no, no thanks. I’ll pass.”
“Anyone else wanna go get dinner for tonight and bring it back?”
“Ok, I guess we’re eating leftovers again tonight.”
I would be so skinny if I had lived there for sure.
Near Masada was this oasis. It was just a little pond with 2 waterfalls and people would get in and swim. It was really neat, living waters in the desert. Reading these Psalms daily is really relaxing to me. It makes me happy kinda like swimming around in a little hidden oasis from the daily duties of life.
Ok, perhaps that metaphor is a bit corny….but heck, pretty true.
Psalm 42 “I went with them to the house of the Lord with a voice of joy and praise.”
During Covid, we stayed home from Church but sometimes we watched church services online and I always felt a little uplifted by that as if it would make my day better. It helped to kinda ease some of the pandemic worry.
It was like that at the nursing home too. They had church service twice a week for the residents and I noticed that the ones that came out of their rooms and participated seemed in a better mood later that day generally.
Psalm 42 “Deep calleth unto deep.”
Ok, this is kinda a weird phrase and reminds me of Gandolf and all them running through the Mines of Moria and he says something like they have awoken something in “The Deep.”
Cue the suspense. Ominous undertones.
And we see this creepy fire monster boogie man thing that has a gnarly whip thingy that chases them down but you don’t really see the guy until the very end, they just see the shadow of the fire approaching. Then there’s this amazing villain boss clash with the wizard….and I am digressing way off course with this….lol.
Ok, I just got to say something…
Gandolf is the best character in that series, hands down.
Fly you fools.
So, I guess The Deep in both this show and in the Bible is, you know, um…like those super creepy new YouTube videos of the strange fallen angel sounds that supposedly are coming out from under the Euphrates that is drying up. Is that stuff real????? Cause that’s crazy! And how did they get someone to actually get that close and record those sounds? That guy’s nuts!
“Hey John, could you get a little closer to that deep dark hole there and kinda hold the microphone into the….
(loud sound of shackles and chains and some otherwordly thing moaning like a caged dragon.)
John walking away.
“I quit! Find some other camera guy!”
(Other camera crew turn to each other.)
“That stuff can’t be real, right…….right…..um…..like some Reign of Fire thing or something down there? Can somebody get some buckets of water? Let’s fill this river back up.”
(More creepy moaning sounds.)
“Ok, could you hurry up on that water, please?”
Psalm 42 “Mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, “Where is thy God?”
This statement happened a lot in the Bible. It seems to be the first thing critics say to someone who believes.
Look at all this warfare! Look at all this crime! Look, you are thrown in prison! Look, your kid is an addict! Etc. Etc. Where is your God in all this?
It is a technique to wear someone down with doubt. It happened to Jesus in the desert with the Devil and it happened on the Cross.
Where is your God? Come down from there? Have him save you! Where is he?
Seems like a really callous thing to say to someone at the end. Just sayin’.
Not very respectful, maybe. A tad bit harsh, maybe.
The part that for some reason really bothers me is the guys that are playing dice for Jesus’ stuff while he’s hanging on the cross. Those guys are so mean!
It’s like being an old relative about to pass and all your family divide up your property and things before you even die!
You’re like, “I’m not dead yet.”
“I know but, we wanted to go ahead and split up the farm and we thought it’d be a good idea if, you know, I get the car and she gets the house and he’s gonna take the tractor cause you don’t need it, right? Oh, and I thought I’d take your old coin collection, ok?”
Cold. So cold. People actually do this to their relatives, especially the older ones that were loaded with cash. It is sad.
Psalm 43 “Hope thou.”
Hope – I’m not sure what the true definition of it is. I guess hope is basically just believing that you will get to a better place, hopefully away from those dice-playing guys. What jerks!
“Ok, I got ten down on those Addidas sneakers…but hey, look at this cool leather wallet. Ok, wait a second guys, I’m changing my mind. I’ll put my ten down on the wallet.”
“I’m not dead, yet.”
“Shhh, be quiet! We’re trying to play a game. You’re interrupting!”
Psalm 44 “Redemption is remembered in present dishonor.”
So one of my favorite women of the Bible was Hannah. She was the second wife or maybe the first one and the other lady was the second. Oh, anyway, point is….the guy had 2 wives that lived together. What was this man thinking?
Not very bright one, was he?
Anyway, one wife had loads of babies. She just kept popping them out, one after another. She liked to brag about it too…..all her clan of kids. Meanwhile, poor Hannah couldn’t have kids. She kept trying and trying and trying. But no, nothing happened which must have made her real sad. Compound that with, being saddled up in the same house with the lady with 15 some kids wandering around everywhere…..Hannah must have been quite miserable.
In fact she got so miserable she went to Shiloh and was praying and acting a little drunk or something, who knows (who wouldn’t drink at least some Moscato at that point?)……so she prays and she gets pregnant.
And not just pregnant with any boy. She gets pregnant with Samuel, the Judge and leader.
Take that, lady!
That’s awesome. So happy for Hannah.
It just took a little time. Poor Hannah just had to deal with it for a while but then, viola! Perfection! A miracle and not just any miracle.
She had Samuel.
So, if you’re going through a really hard time and people are putting you down for something you can’t control like your past, or your appearance, or your whatever, “stars upon thars Dr. Seuss” issue or like Hannah, your ability to have children, just remember……redemption. My day is coming, just wait on the Lord.
Psalm 44 “Our hearts are not turned back; neither have our steps declined from thy way.”
It musta been crazy to cross the ocean floor at the Red Sea when it parted. Imagine, escaping Egypt and you got your little ox and cart and all your kids and Moses is like, “Go on, step out in there and cross over.”
I think I could cross at the beginning. I’d probably do a double-take at least or point at my chest like, “Me? Are you referring to me?”
But that had to be claustrophic to look to the left and see a great big wall of water and look to the right and see a great big wall of water probably with a whale in it or something, and you’re just bumping along in your little ox cart with your four kids and wife.
“Just look straight ahead, honey.”
“But dear, I think I just saw a shark over there.”
Takes a lot of simple trust.
Psalm 45 “My God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness.”
Anointing the head with oil is an ancient tradition and used in India too and other countries around the world. In old times, shepherds would use oil on their sheep. They would pour oil over the head of the sheep to keep bad things like bugs and parasites off the sheep.
The Lord is my shepherd.
Psalm 45 “King’s daughters were among the honourable women….the King’s daughter is all glorious within.”
To be a child of God is to be a son or daughter of the King. You are royal by birth usually but also by choice when you choose him. So stand tall with dignity and don’t let anyone bring you down.
If I am a daughter and you are a son, that makes you my brother or any daughter becomes my sister. It doesn’t matter what we look like on the outside or our stations in life. You are my brother or sister.
Daughters of the King are made to be beautiful on the inside by treating everyone with principles of goodness and kindness. A Proverbs 31 woman is a good woman to know.
Proverbs 9 “He who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself.”
I was confused by this one for a bit. I thought, “Well, aren’t we supposed to point out wickedness?” Then I thought about that line about pray for your enemies and something else I remembered about, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.”
So then I got to thinking that this passage means to stay in faith, pray for your enemies, ask for God’s protection, and be more child-like and trusting and giving folks the benefit of the doubt and giving your worries to God. I think that is what this one line means. Let God handle it.
Proverbs 9 “The way of folly – And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” But he does not know that the dead are here, that her guests are in the depths of hell.”
Be cautious of traps. Don’t walk into a Hotel California moment. Be aware of your surroundings and have discernment. If someone wants you to eat secret and stolen things……yeah, that’s a bad person there. Her guests are probably no good either. Stay away from trouble.
God is the way, the truth, and the light. He’ll light your path. In the meantime, stay away from dark alleyways and secret dark places, places where you got no business being. Follow your intuition.
That’s all I got for Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9. Thanks for reading and have a good day.
2 thoughts on “Words of Wisdom, Psalms 41-45 and Proverbs 9”
Great insights and reflections on Psalms and Proverbs! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. Your encouragement to extend mercy to others and to trust in God’s redemption is truly inspiring.
Thanks Eva! I appreciate it. Thanks for the comment too.