The Psalms are our songbook on the way home. They are probably the most familiar section in our Bible, known for providing help in times of trouble and are generally seen as a comforting place to go. The trouble is, only some of the Psalms provide such comfort. Yes, they contain amazing promises of God’s help in times of trouble but look a bit closer and they contain some hard songs to sing. Songs that challenge our view of the world.
I found that out whilst thinking about what to write for this website. To be honest, I wanted a ‘thought for the day’ style reflection on the Psalms, a kind of spiritual cup of tea on a cold wet day. A warm duvet moment. The Psalms certainly do provide elements of that comfort but they also shake us up a bit. They are about God, and how to live in his world when everyone else around you seems to think you are crazy, wants to kill you or scoff at you. Not much has changed. Here in England we live in a world where many people think you are slightly unhinged if you believe in such a God, a God who is God of everyone and who is everywhere. The Psalms help us wrestle with this reality and call us believe in the face of such circumstances.
I’m going to randomly pick Psalms to look at here. I’m going to start from Psalm 99 and look at 10 in a row from there. I’d love to just pick the ‘nice’ ones. I’d love to ignore the bits about wiping the godless from the face of the earth, but I can’t. They are in our songbook and they are relevant to the journey home.
The depth and breadth of human life and experience that the Psalms display is massive. Here there are songs of hope, joy, pain despair and all the rest of the emotions we go through as people who live in this world trying to work out what God is up to and what He is like.
Hopefully these reflections will cause us to stop and think. To help us look around and cling to hope and reality. To learn from people who have walked this way before us and be encouraged by their struggles, cries, groans, joys and delights. To be encouraged to meet with the God the Psalms display at every turn and be helped to cry out to Him.