hidden glory

Sunday, April 06, 2008

life in the Psalms

I've been reading through the Bible again, this time in large sections rather than detailed exegesis. I wanted to be able to get a bird's eye view of the themes. To not lose the elements of literature that I can too easily miss when looking at minutiae. Seminary was a great experience on many levels, but it was also easy to lose the awe of God and his Word for the academic study I engaged in.

So I got to the Psalms last week. And I decided I would read ten at a time. (except for the longest one, Psalm 119) I wasn't sure how this would be. But what I'm gleaning is the broad range of patterns for conversing with God the various psalmists set for us. It's quite amazing how one psalmist in one psalm (or throughout several) can range from dire distress crying for relief to joy and rejoicing at God's evident goodness, from asking for vengeance for his enemies to pleading for help from their overpowering strength. In the Psalms, I find the words for every emotional state I could be in. There are ones of deep despair (try Psalm 88) as well as ones full of rejoicing (like Psalm 104) and many that are a mix of both (Psalms 42, 57).

The Psalms can give my heart words to express to God when my own run dry. They meet me when I'm sad, but they don't leave me there. They bring me to a place of rejoicing because of trusting in the steadfast love of God that's truer than my emotions.

Read them if it's your first time or your 100th. You'll find life in these poems of the heart.

A sampling of my favorites this time around:
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. (86:4)
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long ... (89:15-16)
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens. (68:19)
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy. (65:8)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home