Do you have a favorite Psalm? You know, that one Psalm you read when you want to meditate on God’s Word, that one Psalm you read because it just happens to fit perfectly with what you are facing at this moment, that one Psalm you have bookmarked, underlined, and circled… yes, that one.
With 150 Psalms to choose from and life ever changing, it can be difficult to choose just one. I knew a man who would read Psalm 1 every day. Could that be your favorite? Psalm 23 is often read at funerals and one that most people have memorized. Maybe that one is your favorite. In my Bible I have several underlined and circled; Psalm 27, 28, 59, 73, 101, 107 to name a few. The Psalm that I keep bookmarked right now is Psalm 37. It is my go to. Why? Well, let me tell you…
The title alone, Rest in the Lord, is worth having it as my favorite. I’m sure it was added by the publisher of my Bible, but it sums it up perfectly. Who does not want to rest in the Lord? This rest, however, is not sleep. This rest is more of an emotional rest. A rest from fretting over evildoers, from envying those who work iniquity (Psalm 37:1) and from fretting over those who prosper by wicked schemes (Psalm 37:7). The world in which we live makes it rather easy fret and envy. That old adage “keeping up with the Jones” comes to mind. We want the “good life”, but we don’t want to commit sinful acts to obtain it, well, except for fretting and envying. As we read this Psalm we come to realize resting in the Lord is a better way.
We don’t have to figure out how to rest in the Lord on our own. This Psalm lays it out for us. We trust in the Lord and do good (verse 3). We delight in the Lord (verse 4). We commit our way to the Lord and trust some more (verse 5). We wait patiently for the Lord (verse 7). We cease from anger and forsake wrath (verse 8). We should be meek and delight in the abundance of peace (verse 11). We depart from evil and do more good (verse 27). If we do this then we will have rest in the Lord.
But it’s not just that it’s much more.
Those whom we fret and envy over, those who gain by sinful means, do not have that rest. They are cut off (verse 9). The Lord shall laugh at him (verse 13). Their sword shall enter their own heart (verse 15). The arms of the wicked shall be broken (verse 17). The wicked shall perish (verse 20). The transgressors shall be destroyed and the wicked cut off (verse 38). I see no rest for them, unless they change their ways.
If we follow the how to rest, what will our rest look like? We do not need to guess at that either! If we wait upon the Lord, we shall inherit the earth (verse 9). The Lord knows the days of the upright and the inheritance shall be forever (verse 18). If we fall the Lord is there with a helping hand (verse 24). The Lord is merciful to us and we are blessed (verse 26). We are not forsaken (verse 28). We will have peace (verse 37). The Lord is our strength in times of trouble (verse 39). The Lord will help and deliver us from the wicked because we trust in Him (verse 40). Doesn’t that rest look marvelous?!?!
Verse 16 sums it up perfectly – “A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.”
This is my favorite Psalm for now. When I get weary in doing good, I read this Psalm. When I think I need more, I read this Psalm. When I wish that could be me, I read this Psalm. When fret and envy start creeping, I read this Psalm.
I guess if I were to challenge you, could you pick a favorite Psalm? You have 150 to choose from, could you pick just one?
By Kristina Odom