Gripped by the Psalms
“Perhaps the best known and loved book of the Bible, the Psalms, have long held a central position in the spiritual life of believers. From the original authors to the modern readers, the Psalms express our emotions, our desires, even our faith, to our heavenly Father. As one person has said, “We were born with this book in our bones.”
The above quote is taken from the foreword from Leslie F. Brandt’s excellent modern translation of the Psalms “Palms/Now.” I use this book, as not only a point of reference in constructing sermons, but also as a devotional book. I read it, often, to help the Psalms come alive for me. Brandt does an excellent job, not only capturing the original intention of the writers, but also the power of their words in our modern idiom. Brandt’s love of the Psalms comes alive in his writings (he first read the Psalms completely at the age of ten)!
The Psalms were written over a 900 year period to reflect Israel’s relationship with God as their world changed. As our world changes, their enduring and inspired message comes through. I would like to share Psalm One with you as we start another week. May its words encourage you in your faith and your journey to encourage others and worship our marvellous God!
“Those persons who chose to live significant lives, are not going to take their clues from the religiously indifferent.
Nor will they conform to the crowd, nor mouth their prejudices, nor dote on the failures of others.
Their ultimate concern is the will of God. They make their daily decisions in respect to such. Compare them to a sturdy tree, planted in rich, moist soil. As the tree yields fruit, so their lives manifest blessings for others, and are purposeful and productive.
This is not true concerning the ungodly. They are like sand in a desert storm or leaves in the autumn wind. They cannot stand against the judgements of the eternal God. And they are most uncomfortable amongst those who demonstrate genuine faith in the God of righteousness.
The children of God walk in the course that God has ordained. The children of unbelief walk in paths of self-destruction.”
May we walk in the “course” of a God that oversees the universe and who has sent His Son to redeem us.
God bless you as we start another week and live out His grace. Like the Psalmist of old, may we proclaim the glories of our marvellous God and His unending love for us.
Remember, He loves you!
Have a great day – Pastor Ralph