I’m not sure I could be a psalmist.
It’d be a struggle to write some of what I read in the psalms. Not everything, of course. Psalm 112:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord, who greatly delight in his commandments.”
I can live with that.
Praise is at the center of our Christian faith. Now, we could talk about what it means to be happy. Or what it doesn’t mean. Overall, though, I can say I’m happy because I’ve learned to fear the Lord. I did have to learn what that meant, too. As you can imagine, a lot of Christians confuse what fearing God means. And Psalm 1 is my favorite. So, delighting and meditating on God’s commandments are good with me.
The psalm continues.
Those happy people in verse one, apparently, have mighty descendants. They’re also pretty wealthy. I start feeling a little uncomfortable now. Prosperity preachers get their material from the Bible, after all.
Going further, the psalm says the happy people of God are not afraid of evil tidings. They will not be afraid, actually. Like, never? I consider myself to be confident in God’s power, but I’ve been afraid before. Sure, I could need some more work. But is it fair to suggest that your trust in God means you’ll never be afraid again?
The psalmist also says we’ll have a chance to look triumphantly at our foes. Does that mean we always win? How triumphant have people felt in extermination camps?
Of course, it could be I’m reading too much into all this.
The psalmist may be reflecting on past experiences more than the future. Or he may be deciding what the future can be because of what he’s experienced. Maybe a bit of both. That sounds like what a lot of us have done.
I’d struggle to write some of the generalizations we read in the psalms, but I know there are blessings in following God. That’s what the psalms aim to remind us. Even in the painful moments of life, our days are still in God’s hands. Even as we endure hardships, we are blessed. We’re blessed and happy as we enjoy life. And, even if all we know is taken from us, the greatest blessing will always be God.