The Book of Psalms
We must see how the book of Psalms differs from all the other books of the Bible. In The Bible Jesus Read, Philip Yancey tells how when he was feeling low, people would advise him to read the psalms. Yancey said, “I would come upon one of the wintriest psalms and go away frostily depressed.” But then, he realized the psalms are not like the other books in the Bible. All the other books are written from God to us. But the psalms are written by the psalmist to God. When you read the Psalms, you are actually reading over the shoulder of someone's honest prayer journal!
There are great highs and great lows in the psalms, because life is “bi-polar.” God wants us to come to Him in our sadness and in our gladness and dialogue with Him. We are His and He wants intimacy with us. He wants us to share our thoughts and feelings—and then, be still and allow Him to answer. He wants dialogue, for you are His Beloved. Because the psalms are inspired by the Holy Spirit, they also teach us to pray, and we can use them as a primer. Because the psalms were meant to be sung, we can put them to music and sing—and that will etch them in our hearts, so we can sing and pray them wherever we are.
1. What is unique about the book of psalms? List everything you can.
2. Meditate on Psalm 5:1-3. What does David say he is doing? Describe how this shows a dialogue.
3. If you can, listen to a musical rendition of Psalm 5:1-3 (KJV) from Maranatha. It’s an easy one to learn! Here are the words:
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray.3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
4. Now go slowly through Psalm 5:1-3. Look at each phrase. Meditate. Share your meditations.
5. Finally, do what the psalmist did. Share your meditations, your thoughts, and your heart with the Lord in the morning. Lay your requests before Him and wait in expectation. Write down any impressions He gives you. You are dialoguing, remember!
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