THE PSALMS

No book in the Old Testament is more appreciated than the Psalms. No book has brought more comfort during days of distress. No book is more quoted, more valued, more beloved.

When a Christian seeks a more intimate relationship with God, he or she turns to the Psalms for instruction. When they mourn the loss of the dearest on earth to them, they turn to the Psalms for comfort. When they want to sing, worship or enjoy devotion to God, they turn to the Psalms for inspiration. Jerome, the 4th century Latin theologian and historian, translator of the Latin Vulgate, said, “Let your daughter have first of all the book of Psalms for holiness of heart, and be instructed in the Proverbs of Solomon for her godly life.”

Others have extolled the value of the Psalms in everyday life.

“The Book of Psalms represents a rich tapestry of prayer and praise. Some psalms reflect a texture of deep despair. Others glow with a deep peace in the Lord’s strength. Still others bubble with an exuberant exaltation of the Most High God. The psalms cover the range of human emotion and experience.” – Ralph F. Wilson

In H. C. Leupold’s classic commentary, Exposition of Psalms, Leupold makes a number of pertinent observations about the Psalms: “Perhaps we are safe in saying that no biblical book has seen more use throughout Christendom than has the Psalter.”

“There does not seem to be any situation in life for which the Psalter does not provide light and guidance.”

“They [the Psalms] are not the fruit of abstract meditation. They did not grow out of the study of the scholar. They were born out of real-life situations. They are often wet with tears and the blood of the writer.”

“The Christian can learn to pray in the psalter, for here he can hear how the saints talk with God. The number of moods which are expressed here, joy and suffering, hope and care, make it possible for every Christian to find himself in it, and to pray with the psalms.” — Martin Luther

Dietrich Bonheoffer, the German Lutheran pastor who was executed by the Nazis, was deeply influenced by the Psalms. On May 15th, 1943, he wrote: “I am reading the Psalms daily, as I have done for years. I know them and love them more than any other book in the Bible.” On April 9, 1945 at the Flossenburg concentration camp, Bonheoffer was executed by hanging at dawn, just two weeks before U.S. soldiers liberated the camp, and a month before the capitulation of Nazi Germany.

“I used to read five psalms every day – that teaches me how to get along with God. Then I read a chapter of Proverbs every day and that teaches me how to get along with my fellow man.” — Billy Graham

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