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Songs from the Heart

By Tim Green, on Monday, June 1, 2015

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We often think of the Psalms as being mostly written by David, maybe a couple of albums worth of songs. But if you started writing the book of Psalms when the battle of Hastings took place in 1066, they would still be being written today. That’s because aside from David, who wrote 73 of the 150 Psalms, there was Solomon (2), and then also choirmasters in: the Sons of Korah (12), Asaph (12), Heman (1), Ethan (4). One was even written by Moses! (Psalm 90). As well as this 50 are anonymous.

This is all great, but are they just a series of one hit wonders? Not really, they’re the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament. That means that the New Testament writers clearly saw them as important to read and know. Why? Because they convey the spectrum of emotions that help us relate to God in whatever situation we are facing. If you’ve ever flicked through a Gideon’s Bible, at the back you’ll see the ‘Where to find help when…’ section and you’ll see that there seems to be a Psalm for every occasion. Here are just a few:

  • Loneliness: “I am lonely and afflicted” (Psalms 25:16).
  • Love: “I love you, O Lord, my strength” (Psalms 18:1).
  • Awe: “Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalms 33:8).
  • Sorrow: “My life is spent with sorrow” (Psalms 31:10).
  • Regret: “I am sorry for my sin” (Psalms 38:18).
  • Discouragement and confusion: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” (Psalms 42:5)
  • Shame: “Shame has covered my face” (Psalms 44:15).
  • Joy: “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalms 4:7).
  • Brokenheartedness: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
  • Gratitude: “I will thank you in the great congregation” (Psalms 35:18).
  • Confidence: “Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (Psalms 27:3).

 

So over these next few weeks, we’re really looking forward to looking at the range of emotions that the Psalms produce through their songs. We’ll be looking at Songs of Devotion, Songs of Commitment, Songs of Praise, Songs of Confession, Songs of Faith, Songs of Lament, Songs of Victory.