The Theological Value of the Psalms
Because Psalms is much like an anthology of Hebrew poetry, don’t think them to be devoid of theological content. They are loaded with it. The theological concepts found in the Psalms are comprehensive. Here is a partial list of such concepts.
- The existence of God
- The attributes of God
- The certainty of judgment
- The necessity of virtue
- The hope of resurrection
- The doctrines of heaven and hell
- The fear of punishment
- The soul’s yearning for immortality
- The need for divine protection
- The providence of God
- The heinousness of sin
- The fetal existence of the human soul
- The two ways of righteous living and wicked living
- The eternality of the Word of God
- The truth of the Word of God
- The blessing of God
- The promise of a Redeemer
- The praise of the heart for God
- The prophecy of the coming Messiah
- And many, many more.
The truths and doctrines of the Psalms are not presented in dogmatic form as, say, the Apostle Paul presents his doctrine. Rather they are evidenced in the beauty of poetry, the simple and childlike lyric yearning of writers who thirsted for God. The Psalms both sink to the lowest depths of the human heart and soar to the highest heights of intimacy with God, often in the same psalm. They are the poetic presentation of divine truth and of equal theological benefit to any of the New Testament epistles.
The sacred poetry of the religions of ancient paganism has withered away in the dustbin of history. Scarcely anyone can quote a line of them. And yet the Psalms of the Bible are as fresh as ever. They are quoted, emblazoned on banners, placed on wall hangings, refrigerator magnets, the halls of justice and more. Why? Because they aren’t just pieces of lyric poetry; they are writings inspired by the Spirit of the living God.