These are our battle hymns, the songs playing as we march off to war. They contain many, many victories…the reminders to our soul to stay the course and keep on with our God. They also record defeat, difficulty, pain and confusion as the authors sometimes—just like us—look at a confusing world and wonder where God is in all of the chaos. These are markers and waypoints on the long trail that leads backs home especially if we have strayed. What beautiful direction and calming they represent to the road-wearied believer or the soldier picking up the pieces after an all-night firefight. We often read the Psalms or sing them because they are the quick drinks of water amongst busyness and the fury of the day-to-day. Like every dash of direction on a compass…the Psalms can always reposition us and help get us where we are going.
And let us not forget that it was usually the Psalms that taught each one of us to first worship our King. In the Psalms, we see orchestras, choirs, strings, flutes, shouting, solos, folk songs, dirges, anthems, themes, theology set to song, memorization techniques, and the high Hallelujahs of the people of God through the centuries. YOU CANNOT JUST READ THE PSALMS…YOU MUST EXPERIENCE THEM. You need to be under the stars and hear the heavens proclaim. You need to be at the end of your rope and find that there is still reason to praise your God for the beauty of His holiness. We must ascend to Jerusalem, singing songs of travel…songs of approaching the Temple to proceed boldly before the throne of grace.
Oh, teach us to sing again Lord! Reignite our intimacy, let us rediscover our vows and read again of Your sweet promises and covenants. When we do, there is ample reason, overflowing need to sing, shout, dance before The Lord . “My soul sings, my soul sings of how I love You!” “Thank You, thank you, thank You good God…for by You, in You, for You I breath and have my life…forgiving, loving blessing, great Father…in every way, You are the sweetest One I know.”
THE PSALMS CHALLENGE: go and praise God! Praise Him through quiet readings through memorization. Worship Him in quiet songs, singing with recordings or set a Psalm on fire with your own voice. Write a song, draw a drawing, paint a painting. Dance, if your feet allow you to! You could even craft something from fabric, wood, or metal…sculpting an image that was born through dwelling on the Almighty. Don’t just read this hymn book as a flat, rigid discourse…bring it to life through the fires of your mind. For God has given us much to praise Him for. Let the redeemed of The Lord say so!!!
Do something with what God has given you. Give something back. We are creative beings because of the character of our great Creator.