Reading the Psalms in ESV

A few years ago, my parents gifted me a pocket-size English Standard Version bible, which has traveled far with me since then. It usually matters little to me what version I read, but I had enjoyed the ESV a bit and so had requested it.

I'm sure I've read at least a good number of psalms in this version, but over the past couple months, I've been reading through all of them, and have really enjoyed it, for one particular reason. For some reason, the ESV rendering makes it easier to grasp the entire theme of a psalm.

This is in contrast to a common pitfall of only internalizing a given verse. This can still, of course, be of benefit to the reader. However, I'm a songwriter, and thus understand that there is usually an overall theme to be communicated. Sometimes, it can be tough in the psalms, and you end up wondering why the psalmist would follow this cluster of verses with that cluster of verses. But now, I'm catching more and more of the themes, and I'm attributing this to the ESV. An example:

I've always more or less passed over Psalm 85, with the exception of passing notice to the part about "righteousness and peace kissing each other", but this was only noted as a poetic curiosity. But this time, the theme jumps out.

God, you had so greatly blessed us.
How long, then, will you be angry with us?
Show us your love.

And then, out of this contrast of God's great love and the people's great trouble, God's love overwhelms:

He will speak peace to his people.
His salvation is near, that his glory may be manifest.

And then follows the psalmist's poetic outburst of the amazing love, faithfulness, righteousness, and peace of God.

And in the theme is the meaning: Even when we can't make sense of present suffering, the overwhelming goodness of God's character is to remind us that we can trust him to revive us as we need. Look to his character. He will speak peace to his people. His salvation is near to those who fear him.

Thus, my endorsement of the ESV rendering of the Psalms.