“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5, NIV
The Book of Psalms is an ancient compilation of 150 poems, which are also lyrics to hymns and are prayers at their core. For over 3,000 years, this inspired collection has formed the main prayerbook and hymnal for both the Jewish and Christian faiths and has been sung and prayed as an integral part of both private and public worship. The original Hebrew collection was referred to as “songs of praise”.
What makes the Psalms so powerful? Primarily, they are the inspired Word of the Lord. Beyond that, they speak a language we know by heart. That is, in part, because they are poetic in nature.
And yet, when we read them, we discover something new, something deeper, more meaningful, vibrant, and real - the imprint of the Holy Spirit, who is the primary author of the Scriptures.
Therefore, the Psalms also speak a language of prayer and worship. They effectively lead us into an intimate dialogue with God. The Psalms are the verses God teaches us to pray to him, to sing to him. Because in God’s presence we are compelled to “walk the talk,” our conversation becomes our walk. In it, we find the Lord Jesus Christ guiding our footsteps, leading us in paths of wisdom and virtue, showing us new landscapes of freedom, beauty, and holiness.
In the context of the beautiful language of prayer and poetry, we discover the entire Gospel message, prophetically proclaimed in the saving history of God’s people. In fact, the whole story of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation – from creation to God’s final glorious reign – is captured in these Scriptures. The Psalms beautifully reveal God’s story with his people – a calling, a rebellion, a gracious reunion – not just in ancient Judea and Palestine, but for us today. They trace a path of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, and they speak the story of our lives.
The Psalms track our ups and downs, our confidence and our doubts, our times of despair and hope. Throughout each of them, there is divine wisdom and encouragement to guide us to faithfully traverse the path to which God has called us.
Where are you on your path today? Are you seeking God’s way, walking on his path, living in his truth, salvation, and hope? Reading, praying, and singing through the Psalms is a glorious offering to the Lord and a means to stay focused on his path. My study, Pilgrim’s Path: A Study of the Psalms, is written to help you discover that God’s path is delightful, stimulating, challenging, surprising, and full of joy. You do not walk alone for the Lord Jesus Christ goes with you. Consider joining me on this path for a 6-week study through the Psalms. You can enjoy this study as part of your personal study or with a small group. Included in the study are daily devotions, a weekly study guide, and weekly video teachings. May the Lord bless you and draw you to himself through his Word!
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