It’s been far too long! Much has changed since we last spoke. Simultaneous to a plethora of personal issues, I have re evaluated my opinion of the bible, then re evaluated that re evaluation, then re evaluated that re evaluation, then gone back to all preceding revaluations and re evaluated those, only to find I’m in the same place I was at the beginning. Argh!
Amidst the turmoil I ploughed through Pslams. OMG! How many songs can one man write?! It took me a while to digest them all. Some days were easier than others, but overall, it was shall we say, an unforgettable experience.
I’ve always been intrigued by the back story of Psalms, primarily because so many songs I grew up listening to came from the book. I knew they came from King David and were his means of connecting with and worshipping God, but why those words? Why song-come-poetry/ poetry-come-song? Why 150 of ’em?!
Were they songs created by God and executed via David as the Quran say? Or were they completely created by David as the Christians allude to? Is it a bit of both? Does any of this matter?
Amidst the millions of questions inspired by my discoveries, was the appreciation of each Psalm being designed for everyday life. There were songs of praise and rejoicing, songs of encouragement for those facing adversity, etc.
I guess the beauty and intelligence about this particular book, is that the same Psalm can mean something very unique and specific to each of us. Who knew diversity could bring about unity in huge quantities?
For me, the overarching message from Psalms was the importance of embracing arts and creativity as a Christian. As I have alluded to previously, many of my bleaker experiences in church, stem from very pharisaical ideal’s; Should we or shouldn’t we have dance in church? Should we or shouldn’t we play the drums? Should we or shouldn’t we have poetry events? How noisy is too noisy? Did the praise and worship leader take it a rift too far? As I write the blog I’m quite agitated by these questions-come-memories. To those who spend their meetings pondering these issues while their youth sneak in text messages and pass notes to each other during the service, I would really encourage you to read Psalms and think carefully before you jump to any clinical, quota-meeting answers!
I should at this point make it clear that I am not advocating that every church should adopt overtly seeker sensitive attitudes. There are some albeit creative initiatives that should not enter a place of worship, but contrastingly, if you can accept singing hymns (where the music compositions were taken from old bar sings and many of the lyrics were written by people practicing the occult), then it would be wise to consider where and how you draw your churches ‘creative line.’ I believe my point is made evident via Psalm 33 (amongst others).Please read it. I think you’ll come to like it!
The second point that jumped off the pages (for me at least), was how well Psalms presented the foreshadowment of Jesus. Like David Jesus asks at one point why God has forsaken him. Also throughout the Psalms, but particularly in Chapter 32, David says many a ‘blessed are those’. It has been said that apart from Elijah, David was one of the bible characters who drew many parallels to Jesus and whose story paved the way for the Messiah’s coming. This could be because God referred to David as a man after his own heart (what a title). Either way, this compliments my earlier point nicely. As artistic as David was, being a man after God’s own heart can only mean that God endorses the arts, namely in his house. And if you’re still not convinced by my idea’s, I would point you to a few David Attenborough documentaries.
So here’s to the ‘selah’ award winning David! Thank you for the music. I look forward to the live performance.
Until we meet in Proverbs…