Psalm 147 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 147


God builds up…God gathers….God heals the broken-hearted….God binds up wounds….God gives to all names….God’s understandings are beyond measure….God lifts up….Psalm 147

Surely it doesn’t surprise you that sometimes I have a really bad day.  Some of those tough days were on the trail.  Some were at home.  The reason I know it doesn’t surprise you is because it happens to you too, right?

I have gotten so that (almost) every time one of those days happens, I open up my book of Psalms that I am reading to whatever psalm is bookmarked next.  Habit, I guess.  Well, Psalm 147 was next in line on the list for me to read on my recent burdensome day.  I would really rather have curled up with a good book and shut out the world entirely, but I read the psalm anyway.

What did I hear?  God builds up.  God gathers.  God heals the broken hearted.  God binds up wounds.  God gives to all names.  God’s understandings are beyond measure.  God lifts up….

I didn’t plan that psalm for that particular bad day.   And as you well know, if you have walked with me through the 146 psalms before this, there are plenty of psalms with which I argue and fuss.  Still, I secretly would like to think that it was part of the Spirit’s gentle pastoral care to offer these words on such a day, although I wouldn’t be so bold or self-assured to claim that.  But I am humbly grateful that they fell on my ears and heart when I needed to be reminded. I am grateful for the hope they offered and the courage they gave.  And this is why, when I finish blogging about the Psalms (only three left to go), I will start over reading (although not blogging) the Psalms again.


1. Read Psalm 147 and reflect on its meaning for you.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder? What makes life truly real and alive for you?  What words strike you?

2. Or comment with a photo of your own that is a window of this psalm’s meaning for you.

The next post will be on Psalm 148.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting an (almost) daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.