This is my attempt at putting the Book of Psalms into my own words. I am not striving for an improved translation or interpretation. This is not The Message by Dave. This is words that mean to me what I am reading. I try not to change wording for the sake of changing, but rather to write down words that I feel the Bible is speaking to me. I hope that you might find some value to this; if so please let me know.

It is my goal to post each Monday. Doing the math, this will take a few years. Stick around and let's see where it goes.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Psalm 17

1 Hear me, O LORD, I pray my needs are sufficient for your attention; I cry out to You. Please hear my prayer—I will do my best to make sure what I say is the truth.

Let my path be selected by You for Your eyes see what is best for me.3 Though you know the contents of my heart, though You always see right through me, I hope You will agree that I have not done evil intentionally; and that I have not told unnecessary lies. 4 Even though people tried to bribe me, I have kept myself true to the course You have set, and obedient to the words You have commanded. 5 I continue to do my best to walk in Your way; even in my stumbling I hold to Your path. 6 Again I cry out to You, my God, for You will answer me; please listen to me and hear this prayer.

7 I long for the wonders of Your love, You who with Your mighty hand save anyone who takes refuge in You. 8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye; keep me in the shadow of Your outspread wings 9 so as to hide me from the those who stand against me, from the enemies who prevent me from doing Your great work.

10 They close up their hardened hearts and withered minds, and their words show that they think their ways are better than Yours. 11 They hound me, and now surround me, with evil eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. 12 I am like a little lamb to their hungry lion. Without You I will be hunted down and killed.

13 Defend me O LORD, stand between me and them, stop them even as the mighty hunter stops the wild lion. 14 By Your hand save the lamb from the lion, LORD, for they see only this life as a reward unto itself, they do not know of Your bigger picture. Give them what You feel you must to stop them. Whatever that is, fill them up completely, and save some for any others who still stand in Your way.

15 When this is done, those looking on will see that I still walk in Your ways, and still seek Your face; when I awake, I will be delighted to see Your glory.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Falling behind

Sorry, I've been falling behind. I am moving back to my attempt at getting a new Psalm up every Monday. Soon...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Psalm 16

A miktam of David.

[It is interesting to note that after three-odd millennia, it is still unknown exactly what "miktam" means. The general conclusion is that it is some sort of musical term, but that's about it. I guess the real message is that this Psalm, like most others, is meant for chanting or singing. -DRW]

1 Keep me safe, my God, for in You I find my only refuge.

2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord, The Lord; apart from you there is nothing good.” 3 I say to the believing and behaving Christians across the earth, “You are the ones in whom I take joy.” 4 To those people looking to other gods, I fear for your suffering. I will not lend any credence to those gods, nor will I even mention their names.

5 LORD, You are the only source of my food, drink, and my very sustenance; You make my life livable. 6 Most of my life, good things have almost fallen in my lap; my delightful life will continue with Your help.
Praise the LORD, whose guidance I seek; in waking or sleep He touches my heart with instructions. 8 I will keep my heart in tune with the LORD. With His support nearby, I can stay on my life's path.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and I raise my voice in song; my body remains at peace,10 because You have rescued me from Hell, and You will not let me fall into decay.

11 Continue to make obvious my path of life; I look forward to the joy of being with You, to spend eternity in Your glory.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Psalm 15

1Lord, who will come to You in heaven? Who may live in that holy place?

The list is long: he must live a blameless life and he that always lives the Way of the Lord; he must always speaks Your truth, which resides in his heart 3 and he that does not speak wrong of his fellow man; and he that does right by his neighbor and does not slander; 4 and he that gives no honor to evil men, but shows his honor to those who fear the LORD; and he who lives by his oaths even when those oaths are not in his best interest; 5 and last: he who supports those in need and does not take bribes.

He who does all these things can not be shaken from You Lord, and will join You in heaven.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Psalm 14

1 Sometimes I ask in my heart, "Is there a God?" Those who say "no" are corrupt, and their works useless; none of them do any good.

2 The LORD looks into my heart to see if I understand, to see if I seek Him. 3 Too often I have turned aside, I also become corrupt; I do no good, not the least bit. 4Will I ever learn? I who treat others like things to be consumed, and I who ignore You Lord? 5Here I am, overtaken with fear, fear for the God that is present among the righteous ones. 6The evil ones do not advance he cause of the poor, but the poor will always have the Lord. He will take care of them.

7Bring salvation to all people! When this happens, all will rejoice, in heaven and earth, for all time.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Psalm 13

[Note: This one is not changed much from the NIV version. In keeping with my original premise, I am putting this into words that mean to me what I am reading. Some of these verses are so clear and point directly into my heart already.]

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You continue to make me look for You? 2How long must I wrestle with myself and every day have more sorrow in my heart? How long will The Enemy triumph over me?

3I need to see Your face, and get an answer, O LORD my God. Show me the Light of Your glory, or this life will continue in slow death; 4The Enemy will laugh, saying "This one is mine!" and my earthly foes will celebrate my failure.

5But I trust in Your endless love; my heart rejoices in Your saving grace. 6I will sing to You O LORD, for You have been so good to me.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Psalm 12

For the director of music. According to sheminith . A psalm of David.
1 Help me, O LORD, to find the faithful; they are almost invisible among my circle of friends. 2 People lie even to those that they should trust; their constant lies speak nothing but good about themselves.

3 LORD, remove the lips and tongues of those liars, the lips 4 that say, "We can win over the world with just our false words. Who can stop us? We are our own masters!"

5 "In answer to the treatment of the small and needy, I will make my strength known," says the LORD. "I will put forth my power protect the weak from those who assail them." 6 Hear these perfect words of The Lord! They are the purest silver, more refined than any works of man. 7 O LORD, we are weak, and we know You will protect us for all time. 8 Until all men honor You, O Lord, these deceivers will walk the earth in arrogance and pride.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Psalm 11

1 Jesus covers me and protects me always. How then can you say to me:
"Run to your hiding place.2 The wicked are attacking you; from the darkness they come to hurt the righteous. 3 They try to destroy my very purpose. What am I to do?"

4 Jesus is the Holy One in His Holy place. He watches us; His eyes never leave.5 We who try to be righteous are still under His examination, but those who are in love with violence and hatred will get the same back from God: violence and hatred.6 For them the sky will burn and every breath will burn their lungs. 7 For Jesus is the most righteous, He loves the righteous, and His acceptance pours over us now and always.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Psalm 10

1Why, LORD, do You stay far from me? When I need You most You seem to be everywhere but where I am looking.

2The evil conceited ones take advantage of those who do not know You; folks are ensnared but these evil plots. 3The evil ones are proud of their evil doings; they actually bless their evil deeds while they simultaneously hate You, the Lord.4They are so proud they do not see the need to seek the Lord; their minds are too cluttered up with the ways of the world. They think there is no room for God. 5They think to themselves, "I have lots of money and power, who needs God? Why should I obey His rules? I regularly trample those who follow God beneath my feet. 6I don't need God, and I never will. I am getting along fine on my own."

7These evil ones never hold back their vile tongues; Nothing but their own deceit and ills come out of their mouths.

8They sneak around the earth, surprising and killing whomever they want, whenever they can get away with it. 9They are like a lion in the tall grass, and the rest of us are but baby gazelles, helpless to defend ourselves when we are dragged away.10Under his lion like strength all are crushed.

11This evil fool has convinced himself that God does not know what is going on. That his deeds are hidden from the Lord.12Don't let this happen LORD! Bring Your mighty crushing blow down on the evil doers. Your helpless servants need to know You are there to defend us.

13How can this wicked man continue to hate You O Lord? What could possibly convince him that You will never hold him accountable for his actions?

14But we know O God that You do not forget the helpless, and You see all evils done against us and against You. We know that You are there for us; You will be our Father and helper.

15Cripple the wicked man; bring his actions to light that all might see and hold him accountable. 16 For You O Lord are and will ever be the King over all; even though nations will perish. 17You know what we need Lord, even as this evil man takes away what we have; You are there for us, You hear us, You protect us, 18You defend us, You are a father to us. When You do all these things for us, the evil ones have no more power. We are covered by You and we are well in spite of the evil.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Psalm 9

[The first few lines of Psalm 9 are hard to mess with. To me they speak volumes as they are. - DW]

For the director of music. To the tune of "The Death of the Son." A psalm of David.
1 I will praise You, Jesus, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

3 You repel my enemies; they trip and fall, and cannot withstand even Your sight. 4 For I have maintained Your cause as my own; You have sat on Your throne, and judged my enemies according to Your divine will.

5 Nations and the wicked who do not align themselves with You are destroyed and their very existence is removed from the annals of history. 6 These enemies see complete and utter ruin; their cities annihilated; no one who remains alive will even the remember their name.

7 Jesus, You reign forever; You have created Your holy throne from which You can judge through Your holiness.8 You will judge everyone based on Your rules; You will govern the remaining Holy nations with justice.

9 Jesus, please be a refuge for all of us, especially those in the most need; be a strong foothold in this slippery world. 10 We know Your name! We will trust in You, for you, Jesus, have never forgot us as we continue to seek You. 11 We will sing praises to You Jesus, enthroned above all the earth; We will shout out loud so everyone will know all of the good You have done. 12 For even as You destroy our enemies, You will remember our need; You won't ignore us.

13 Jesus, as a part of your grand plan sometimes I have enemies that seem to overwhelm me. Even when I fall away from you, remember me and lift me from this condition 14 that I can again sing your praises and be delighted in Your presence forever.

15 We on earth constantly fall into holes that we ourselves have dug; we become trapped in the snares of life. 16 We know You Jesus by Your justice; please let only our enemies be trapped in this way. 17 Those evil ones will know only death, including all the nations who never learn that You are God. 18 But through Your great understanding those in need will always be remembered and helped; You will sustain our hope forever.

19 Come back to us Jesus; everyone should be judged through Your eyes, yes every last nation and soul. 20 Don't let us ever forget that we are just humble men, and that You are God.

In Your Praise!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Psalm 8

There are a few popular praise songs based on this Psalm. V1 "Majestic" ; V5: "Friend of God" (paraphrased a bit, of course). And we can't forget V2 on which we base the famous cliche, "out of the mouth of babes."

1 O LORD, my Lord, how I love to sing Your name above all things, over all the earth! Indeed, I also sing of Your praise and glory to the very heavens above 2 Even the little ones, the children, sing Your praise.

3 When I look at all of the wondrous works You have made, above, below, and everything between, 4 I see that you pay attention to me, just a man, and that You also sent Jesus, the son of man, and You care for us each equally? 5 You made Jesus, a man, yes, but He is still crowned him with all the glory and and all the honor. 16 You made Him ruler over all Your works and everything over and under heaven and earth: 7 all the animals, who walk, crawl; 8 and also those that fly and swim.

9 O LORD, my Lord, how I love to sing Your name above all things, over all the earth!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psalm 7

A shiggaion of David, which he sang to the LORD concerning Cush, a Benjamite.
1 LORD and God, wrap yourself around me; I need protection from my enemies, 2 who will rip out my heart without You there to help. 3 LORD and God, if you ever catch me treating anyone this way, 4 if I have done this kind of evil to any of my friends, 5 You can give me over to them whom I have wronged; I do not deserve to live. Hear me!

6 O LORD, You are strong in Your anger, and it will stand against the anger of my enemies. Yes, stand up and bring them to Your justice. 7 Use that justice to rule over the people as You see best, You be their judge, and also my judge. Hold me accountable to the degree of my righteousness and integrity.9 You are the righteous God, You know our thoughts and feelings, don't let our evil continue. Make us secure in our righteousness. 10 I need You to protect me LORD.
11 You are the righteous judge, You never fail to show us your wrath, and You need to do this often.
12 If my enemy is allowed to continue he will assemble his evil weaponry. 14 He exudes evil and his every thought is towards deception and deceit. 15 But he also falls into his own traps. All the trouble he causes will come around to him again. It eventually will fall on his own head.

17 I will sing thanks and praise to You O LORD. You are deserving, and I will praise You.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Psalm 6

David is in a bad way again. Sometimes it is almost sad. This guy had the world by the tail. Got everything he desired. Was pretty well connected with God, and yet still penned poetry like this.

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. According to sheminith.

1LORD, please do not punish me in anger. 2Let Your mercy fall down on me LORD, in my weakness I could really use some of You right now; O LORD, touch me and make me better. I am in pain down to my very bones. 3My soul is in no better shape than my body. Why this O LORD, why me, why now, when will it end? 4O LORD, will You change your mind and bring me back to You? You can save me with the love that last forever.
5When all people are dead, how can we still praise You? Who will sing of Your glory if we are all lying in the grave?
6This weariness has eroded my soul. I am worn out from this pain and sadness; my constant tears are enough to wash away everything I have. At night these tears nearly flood my bed. 7As I look around, I see only more sadness; I cannot take the sight of all my enemies. 8Leave me, you enemies and you evil ones, the LORD is on my side. He has heard of my woes 9and He will grant me mercy; He listens to my prayers. 10Just the knowledge of this will discourage and humiliate my enemies; their dishonor will be quick and devastating.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Psalm 5

I can only read v1-3 in KJV and think of the worship song. (here's the chords). Amazing, spiritual, connecting.

For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David.
1Please listen to me, O LORD, my head is in a place where all I have is You right now. 2I cry out for Your help, my King and God. I pray to You 3from the start of the day to the end. O LORD, I know You hear me and listen to me; I put my prayers before You and then wait in expectation while You do what is best for me.

4For You do not get any pleasure from doing evil, or even being in the presence of evil. Evil cannot stand to be close to You. 5Likewise the arrogant cannot be near You; all who do wrong find themselves in a similar fate: without You. 6Lying, deceitful behavior, all this you do not tolerate. People who act this way and do these things are destroyed for You despise them.

7Because of Your great mercy, I get the chance to enter Your house and be with You. When I am there I will show You all the reverence that You deserve. 8Lead me to that place, O LORD; I do have enemies, but help me to remain righteous in spite of them. Show me the fastest way that leads to You.

9As for my enemies, I don't trust them, and neither should You. Inside, they are consumed with evil and malice. Their hearts, words, and deeds are altogether evil. 10I think they are guilty, O God! You should declare them so! By their own words they will condemn themselves. Don't stop them! Punish them for their sins.

11For those who follow You, let us always have joy, and sing out loud of Your goodness. Protect us with Your love, so that we may continue to sing Your praise. I know You can do this, 12for surely, O LORD, You will always be with we who are righteous; wrap us in Your loving arms, and protect us from all harm.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Psalm 4

The NIV intro to this one says:
"For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of David."
So, David, and stringed instruments. This one is tailor made.

1I will call out for relief from this life, God. I wish it could always be easy. Please hear me. Please be merciful, and don't give me what I deserve. You know I usually ask for things You know I don't need or deserve.

2The people out there try to turn me from You. If I really turned away from You I could not live with the shame. How long people? How long will you avoid God, and find other ways for your shallow and temporary fulfillment? Listen to Him! 3The LORD can make you one of His godly people. Those not only of this world, who exist for Him. I hope to be among those godly ones, so when I call out to God He will hear me.

4Even when things are not going your way, you should not stoop to sinning. As you lie at night, use this quiet time to look into your heart. Listen to what you hear!

5Being godly will sometimes feel like a great sacrifice. Have faith in the LORD that these sacrifices are worth it. They are.

6People need to see someone good, someone godly. They sometimes need more evidence for Your goodness. that's OK - please help me to be one that shines Your light upon them. Let them see the light in me. 7 When I am successful at this, Your light fills me with great joy LORD! A greater joy than I have ever imagined. No earthly satisfaction compares. 8 Your joy allows me to sleep in peace, knowing that You LORD will be with me, and cover me with Your safety.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Psalm 3

Here is one where David is in a very bad way. His son is trying to kill him. In these verses "my enemies" is hitting pretty close to home. In those days it was not uncommon for a son to usurp the throne by killing a relative, even his own father. But just because it was accepted practice doesn't make it any easier on the father...

For reference: Psalm 3 (NIV)

1LORD, all around me are people who stand between me and You!
Everywhere I look and everywhere I go, they try to attack me!
2They tell me things, evil things. They say that You will not save me.
3But I know you are always there protecting me LORD;
in Your glory I am raised, and I can boldy lift my head 4to You and cry aloud!
You answer me from Your holy place on high. I listen!
5Even as I sleep, and then as I wake the LORD is with me, and fills me with all I need.
6If my enemies number a million, and I had no escape, I will not fear.
7Arise with me LORD, Arise! Save me Jesus, from myself and my enemies!
Break the jaw of my enemies, that they no longer say evil things to me.
Remove the power of my enemies, that they no longer control me.
8Jesus is the Savior. Bless me and all the people of the earth.
We hear You.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Psalm 2

This extends the need for belief to the nations and leaders of the earth. I emphasized that these are our leaders, and at least in a democracy, we are partly responsible for their behavior as leaders. Psalm 2 assures us that we will share in the payment for their mistakes.

For reference: Psalm 2 (NIV)

1All the peoples of the earth conspire against the LORD. 2The people and our leaders stand together against the LORD, and also against the Blessed One, Jesus. 3"We can break away from the LORD," our leaders say, "Everyone, cast away the bindings placed on us by the LORD." 4Jesus smiles ate this, and the LORD ridicules us. 5The LORD is outraged at us, and scolds us. We become afraid saying this:
6"My leader is a good leader. He is holy."
7What I need to do is to will renew my faith in the LORD. When I am sincere in this renewal, the LORD will say to me "you are my Son again, and I am your Father again. 8If you ask it of me, I will give you the whole earth, every last corner. All the peoples of the world will become yours. 9 You will be their leader. You will rule them cruelly, and shatter all people as you bring them under your control."

10So, all you people and all the leaders of those people, think about what you are doing! The LORD has told you the consequences of maintaining this evil path. 11Be very concerned with your service to the LORD. Sing and be glad, but also remain wary. 12Do not forget to honor Jesus, or he will get mad, and things will be even worse for you. Jesus can become enraged in a moment, so keep your faith, and show Jesus the honor and respect He is due. Keep Him in your heart, and all will be well.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Psalm 1

So, this is just a reminder of the major benefits of being a believer and follower of The Way. If we follow the LORD, good things happen. If we don't, not only do good things not happen, but bad things do. Not a pretty picture.

For reference Psalm 1 (NIV)

1A man sets himself apart by keeping immune from poor influences, keeping clear of bad people, those evil in deed as well as those only unpleasant in word. 2Such a man gets pleasure from the service of the LORD, all day and all night of every day he dwells in the pleasure derived from that service. 3He is rooted in a place where he gets all sustenance. When he is ready, he creates that which he is made to create. In this rooted place he is strong, and he flourishes. 4Evil ones do not get the sustenance they need. They become weak and fail, and ultimately simply fade away . 5They will never stand in the presence of the LORD, nor in the company of decent people. 6 For the LORD watches over the blessed man, but He will not watch over the way of the wicked, and they will eventually die a lonely death.

Calming Psalms

This is going to be my attempt as putting the book of Psalms into my own words. It's not trying to repeat the work of any particular version of the Bible, such as The Message. My hope is that by working through them in this fashion I will gain some new insights into God and His relationship with man, specifically, this man (me).

More than likely I will work from the New International Version, which is currently my favorite. I imagine I will tap into several versions as time goes by. Who knows.

That's it for now. I'd appreciation you sharing any thoughts you might have.