Let the Word Speak!

Psalms

The Book of Psalms is a collection of poems and choruses from pre-Christian Hebrew worship. They express a range of emotions from sorrow and despair to joy and jubilation. They praise God for miracles done and for promises to come. The convey wisdom of how we relate to God and insight into what God expects from us. All together, it is a wonderful, timeless book for meditation and praise.

There are several key points to remember when reading the psalms. First is the differences between poetry in ancient Hebrew and poetry in English. The concept of rhyme didn’t apply to Hebrew poetry (which is fine with us – not reading the original Hebrew, we’d miss it anyway!) What we do see is measured repetition and flow. Second is the “common” nature of the Psalms — these were very approachable by all the people, not just the scholars, as everyone rejoiced together in worship. Finally, the psalms show the theology and understanding of God from the Old Testament, anticipating and foretelling but not yet knowing the Messiah.

On the subject of the Psalms, I strongly recommend Max Lucado’s book Traveling Light, which is all about applying Psalm 23 to our lives. This is a marvelously uplifting series of meditations by a wonderfully insightful servant of God.

Please let me know if you have a favorite I haven’t included, and I’ll put it on my list of meditations to write!

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