This blog has as its goal to walk through the book of Psalms in the Bible. As we walk along together the major focus of the articles written will not be to discuss theological issues. There will be times when we will address something theological, but that will not be the major reason we are here. That focus will be on the song itself.
God gave us the book of Psalms for the purpose of revealing Himself. That is the ultimate purpose of all Scripture. That being said, though, there are various ways that God has chosen to reveal Himself. In the Pentateuch He revealed Himself through the telling of history as well as through the giving of laws consistent with His holiness and righteousness. Through much of the Old Testament He reveals Himself through the history of those whom He had chosen for various tasks and purposes. Psalms is different. In Psalms God does something much different. He uses primarily one man (although there are several who write these songs) to write songs about his experiences as he serves God and wrestles with the issues of life.
As we read through the Psalms we experience God's divine set list. If God had an iPod, these would be the primary songs that would be on it. What is fascinating is that these songs run the gamut of human experience. There are songs of praise to God, which we would fully expect here. But there are also songs of confession of gross sin - sad songs that illustrate the fallenness of mankind. There are songs that speak of man's complaint as he seeks to serve God, but is persecuted by those around him. There are songs that purely emote as the singer pours his heart out about his circumstances - and others that are meant to teach and instruct us about a life that seeks after God. Before we finish this journey we will have an opportunity to experience just about every emotion that is common to those who attempt to walk with God. There are even a few psalms, called "Imprecatory Psalms," that reflect in human emotions the wrath of God that is directed toward wicked men.
Our goal, therefore, as we make our way through God's playlist, is to learn what is means to be devoted to God both in our minds as well as through our emotions. We will learn that at times it is a pretty wild ride. David will express things that may offend our religious sensibilities, as he speaks very honestly with God. Yet all this will be extremely helpful to us if we too will choose to be honest with God about how we really feel. One of the more delightful rewards that we will get from such a journey is that God does not want us to hide our feelings when we come before Him. We will learn that we can come reverently before God and speak of gut-wrenching issues that rise up within us. We will learn that songs that begin with pain and suffering often end with wonderful breakthroughs with God. What may at first seem like an almost bi-polar set of lyrics, will often prove to be just what our Lord ordered for our good.
God does not want mere religious platitudes coming from our mouths as we sing the songs of the redeemed. He wants honesty and sincerity in the songs that are sung to Him by His beloved bride. Just as we despise feigned love and sappy, unfelt lyrics in a love song - so also does our Father in heaven despise music that does not originate in the heart. What we will find is that as He inspires His artists and their song-stylings by His Spirit, we will not find hypocrisy and empty, meaningless words. What we will find is raw, real, street-level spirituality as it struggles in, as well as through, all the varicolored experiences of life. I hope you enjoy it.