More Than A Hymnbook
Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 6-8
Key verses: Psalm 8:3-4
“Psalmos” – it means “a poem sung to the accompaniment of musical instruments.” But that barely describes it.
Psalms is all about telling God what’s on your mind, and in your heart. It’s about the full gamut of emotions and thought that we as God’s children can experience. From the loftiest praise to the most gut-wrenching cry for help; from the deepest questions to the most profound answers – that’s what you find there. No wonder then that people through the ages, even when they couldn’t make much sense out of the rest of the Bible, turned to this ancient hymnbook for comfort.
Theologians pick them apart – arguing over what this or that particular Hebrew word means. Some of those discussions are worth having; especially the ones that examine how these prayers and poems might point prophetically to a Savior who wasn’t even born until centuries after they were written.
But too much analysis does them disservice. Like a nervous cook fussing over a pot of soup, adding this or that, until it’s ruined – too much scrutiny can spoil our appreciation of the Psalms as well.
Instead – you have to pick them up when you are tired or discouraged; joyful and elated; confused or finally coming to terms with a difficult issue. You have to turn to these prayers with eyes of faith and an open, seeking heart if you really want to appreciate them. That’s when words like this will hit home:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him? O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
Even without the flutes and strings in the background – those words sing off the page. That is, if they are said prayerfully and joyfully and thoughtfully.
So take some time to just sit with the Psalms. Put on a little music in the background. Better yet, go outside and read them while you listen to the birds sing. It’s more than a hymnbook. It’s a way to tell God what’s on your mind and in your heart.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may the ancient words of the scriptures help me to find the words to tell you what I must. And may I take the time to listen for your response. AMEN.