Sunday, January 18, 2015

Deep and comforting Psalms

Today's sermon was based on Psalm 42, one of my favourites, with a most beloved refrain:
Why are you cast down,
O my soul,
and why are you
in turmoil within me?
Hope in God;
for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
The main sermon points were two: (1) like the Psalmist, be honest in our emotions with God in our worship and prayer, and (2) in our deepest hole of depression, there is hope in God.

I checked my Logos library and found this book I didn't realise I bought. It will be a good read. Walter Brueggemann is an excellent scholar and writer.

Spirituality of the Psalms
by Walter Brueggemann

I love his introduction of the Psalms:
The Psalms are a strange literature to study. They appear to be straightforward and obvious. They are not obscure, technical, or complicated. Yet, when one leaves off study of them, one is aware that the unresolved fascination endures. Any comment upon them is inevitably partial and provisional. That is certainly true of such a limited manuscript as this. The reason for the partial, provisional character of this study is not simply because of such limitations, but because of the nature of the material. There is simply more than can be touched and handled. So one finishes with a sense of inadequacy, of not probing enough. That, of course, is why the Psalms continue to nourish and nurture long after our interpretation has run its course. We are aware that the claims of the literature have not been exhausted.
Ah, I am accumulating more and more books to read and I shall not start too many at one go. I already have three books I am currently reading now. I had better finish reading at least one of them before I start on this. But I certainly look forward to it.

I read somewhere or was told that the Psalms are usually appreciated by the more matured. It is when we have encountered much in life, these words of the Psalmist speak to the very depth of our hearts, lamenting to God, seeking his presence, trusting his counsel and praising his faithfulness and sovereignty.

Let all who has breath praise the Lord.


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