I am wanting to read more and more from the Book of Psalms. While all of the Bible is God’s Word and is profitable for teaching, instruction, correction, and training in righteousness, there is an accessibility to the Psalms that is unsurpassed.
Whether a person is reading one psalm a day or more, that book of the Bible provides lots of direction, consolation, and encouragement. On the one hand, there is the range of emotions and reactions of the psalmists, David and others. These verses range from exuberant joy in serving God to severe depression, fear, and questioning. Unlike the tendency toward the sentimental and syrupy in all too many modern songs and sentiments, the psalms are fresh, bold, manly, confrontational. They have more the feel of Aslan than a kitty cat; they are filled with roaring, not purring.
The Psalms are also a prayer book. We all fall into mindless repetition or self-centered want lists in our prayers. On the one hand, God hears our stumbling prayers and the Holy Spirit corrects our spiritually mangled grammar. On the other hand, we need to pray more Biblically. The psalms are for praying. When the enemies assailing the godly in the psalms don’t sound like the particular battles we are facing, we need to realize that often the psalms are prophetically describing what Jesus actually experienced. The Book of Psalms in our Bibles may be several hundred pages away from the bitter details of Christ’s sufferings and death on the cross, but the experiences of the psalms are depictions of what Jesus endured on our behalf.
The Psalms are a song book. For some churches and for many years, hymnals were Psalms recast into meter and music. We tend to have a few songs in our hymn repertoires that emerge from the Psalms. But why do we not have 150 plus songs echoing the Psalms?
Near the end of last year, I received the Concordia Psalter from Concordia Publishing House. The picture doesn’t do this beautiful little volume justice.
I am Presbyterian and am not a Lutheran in the specifics of my theology or worship. But I love and have profited greatly from the books and materials from Concordia.
The Concordia Psalter is a gem. It is a beautiful, handy, leather-type Psalter. Each psalm is preceded by a few bars of music. The idea is to be able to chant the Psalms. We don’t generally quote Johnny Cash songs or Christmas carols; rather, we sing them. Likewise, we need to sing the Psalms.
It would help us memorize the contents and internalize the words.
There are also brief prayers at the end of each psalm, compiled by the Reverend F. Kuegele. As part of my morning devotions, I was reading one or two psalms a day along with these heart-searching prayers.
This book is perfect for mornings, evenings, family devotions, and other times we can carve out for hearing God’s Word. The book is just perfect for taking on a trip. It would also make a great gift.