The Psalms are the song book of ancient Israel. They are varied. There are Psalms that speak out the highest levels of worship and praise, the deepest depths of discouragement and despair and the widest visions of the knowledge of God. Some psalms share the innermost and hard-won lessons from personal and national history. Others are designed to share the faith with the next and future generations.
Despite its ups and downs, the nation of Israel was called by God to be a missionary nation. Their calling was to reflect the knowledge of the one true God, Yahweh, in lifestyle, in the classroom, the law court, and in personal and corporate worship. Often their history is marked by failure, but they discovered that their God, unlike any substitute god, was not just a God of righteousness and judgment, but a God who forgives, restores and is willing to start again.
The Psalms reflect the unshakeable faith in this God who is Lord of all creation, Lord of all nations, as well as Lord of Israel. The Psalms lay out a seed-bed of hope – hope that the present, which often felt like a desert, would one day blossom again with life, new growth, fruitful harvest and happy worshippers of the one true and only God. Out of those hopes grew the belief that one day a Saviour would come to Israel, the Messiah, who would bring about this salvation and realise the hope of Israel's faith.
So the Psalms can function for us as a seed-bed of ideas and expressions for the mission of God through His people, and so, ultimately, a focus for God's call on each of our lives. Let The Psalms speak to us in this way!
Ossie & Jenny
Day 3 – GC3 Daily Prayer Guide