The Power of the Psalms

A few notes about the Psalms in general:

First, the Psalms are realistic. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Psalms frankly recognize that even for believers this life is simply not always happiness and joy. We live in a sin-sick world. And because we live in a sin-sick world, there is often misery, mourning, tears and death mixed in with our joys, happiness, smiles and life. The Psalms don’t ignore that reality.

Second, the Psalms are honest. And they help us to deal with where we really are, no matter where we happen to be in our pilgrimage. There is no pretense, no ‘putting on a good face’ for church. The Psalms deal with the whole spectrum of the Christian experience. They deal with everything from the highest mountain-top experience to the lowest and the darkest valley that you will ever pass through. We can worship even in the valleys, and the Psalms help us to do just that.

Third, because they are realistic and honest, the Psalms are helpful to us, no matter where we may be. They are able to deal with us where we are, so they can bring us back to where we need to be. Writing of David’s Psalms, Charles Spurgeon says,

David’s heart was more often out of tune than his harp. He begins many of his Psalms sighing, and ends them singing. (The Treasury of David, Vol.1, p.153)

So the Psalms were helpful to their writers (of whom David was one), and they can help us as well.  Our hearts get out of tune far more often than we realize, and the Psalms help us to tune our hearts to God’s praise.

They put theology in the form of poetry or song, and so help us to get our theology into our hearts, and not just in our heads.  And who among us doesn’t need help doing that?

Never underestimate the power of the Psalms.

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