It has been said “poetry is a kind of multi-dimensional language. It is directed at the whole person, not just at his understanding. It must involve the reader’s senses, intelligence, emotions and imagination.” (I.B. Iskov) Is it any wonder then that the Psalter is actually a book of poems, which were set to music so that the ancient Israelites could worship and praise the one true God with their entire being?
In his very helpful book, And I Will Praise Him (A Guide to Worship in the Psalms), Ronald Allen, reminds us that “praise is one of the most elemental, fundamental, and necessary factors of the life of faith in this and any age. It is the goal and direction of all creation. The praise of God is the occupation of all His holy angels. The praise of God is the purpose of man. The praise of God is the end result of all God’s wonders, all His being, and all His acts. He has redeemed us for the praise of His glory. The Book of Psalms exists as God’s provision to teach us how to praise His name!”
If this is true, then the question that we must ask ourselves is, How can I best learn from this God-given manual? How can I incorporate the beauty of the poetry, the expressive descriptions of the words, the troubling passion of the writers, into my way of thinking and praying? Perhaps a good place to start just might be to remember that the Psalms are more about what God wants than what we want. Ask Him why the Spirit of God placed that song in His treasury of music for all generations, including yours! Ask Him to help you enter into the passion of the poem as a prayer for yourself and for all those around the world who share in your faith in Jesus Christ.