Psalms: Sing, Praise, Rejoice
Week 6 of our journey and starting the poetry section!
Breadcrumbs For The Journey
The Book of Job introduces an interesting question: “How should God run the world with justice in mind and still promote true righteousness?” (from The Essential Bible Companion, Walton, Strauss, Cooper). It is natural to expect that God will bless those who live righteous lives. But should our right living be motivated by prosperity or the desire to be righteous? That is the question of the adversary (Satan) to God in the Book of Job, and that is the conundrum we face in our lives. Job’s story is one of the most relatable tales in Scripture because we all understand suffering in one way or another. It is human nature to wonder if our suffering is somehow related to our past actions. Yet, at the end of Job, God establishes that humans can never understand how He orders all the workings of the universe to fit His purposes. We simply need to trust Him.
In addition to Job, we begin the Psalms this week, which emphasizes the message, “God reigns!” He is in control and we need to trust Him (Ps. 42 & 43). Psalms is divided into five “books,” and their purpose is seen in Psalms 1 and 2. Remember that Psalms is a collection of songs filled with passion and intended to express emotion as much as to teach information. Enjoy the poetry of God this week and next.
Tip Of The Week
The books from Job to the end of the Old Testament were written during a specific time period which we've already read in the previous books. Job most likely lived during the time of the Jewish Patriarchs and his story probably took place during the history between Genesis 11 and 12 – around the time of Abraham. Most of the Psalms were written around the time of King David, although Psalm 90 is said to be a prayer of Moses.
Good To Know
There are generally five types of psalms.
Praise Psalms – expresses praise for who God is and what He has done
Lament Psalms – expresses a problem the author wants God to address
Wisdom Psalms – offers advice on relating to God; addressed to people rather than God
Royal Psalms – focuses on how God works through His anointed king
Imprecatory Psalms – calls upon God to curse an enemy so justice will be done
Fun Activity For the Week
You might want to be alone for this one. Ready? Since the Psalms were written to be songs, try picking a psalm and singing it! It may be rough and not one to upload to Spotify any time soon. But singing through a psalm helps remind us about the emotion and passion behind the words that were written. They were not intended to be spoken for intellectual purposes, but sung for celebration or lamentation. Here are a few you could try: Psalm 1, 8, 23, 133 (Unity) or 134 (Praise). Enjoy the canticles of God!
Pressing on with you!