Psalm is the Greek translation (psalmos) of the Hebrew word mizmor that is found in 57 psalm superscriptions. A mizmor is a song sung to musical accompaniment. Psalms is a collection of 5 books containing 150 poetical expressions mostly set to music or vocal expressions. For some of you on the 105 journey you finally found a part of the OT that is familiar and somewhat comfortable. The Psalms connect with our hearts because we can find ourselves in the poems and in the songs. They express what we are often feel. They speak the struggles of our hearts, our fears, frustrations, our anger, our confusion, our questions, our longings, our hopes, and our dreams. Most have their favorites. Ones we seem to go to that resonate with our present circumstances. They are like a favorites playlist on our iTunes.
So what’s on your playlist? Which Psalms resonate most with you?
One of my favorites is Psalm 63. David finds himself in the wilderness of Judah as he has fled because of the rebellion and uprising led by his son Absalom. I can’t imagine what David is feeling. But I can imagine what I am feeling. This is why my heart and yours connect with the Psalms. We make them our songs. O God you are my God, earnestly will I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. David is in a place where he feels empty and thirsty, a place where he is growing weary and desperate. This place pushes him towards God. He recalls a time when he was worshiping in the sanctuary, seeing and savoring the Glory of God. In reaching back and remembering, he is able to move ahead. His worship moves his heart, his circumstances from being self focused to being God consuming. God again becomes his greater passion. And he begins to worship:
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.
3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.
When you feel weary, empty, frustrated, angry, anxious, or confused live the Psalm. Reach back and remember a time when you worshiped God. When you where able to see and experience His Glory, and worship again!
So may the Psalms become what they are intended to be for us. Not about you finding your story in them. But about you finding your story in Him.