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April 29, 2013

How do you decide what you are going to read to inspire you?

My latest ruse was to read through the Psalms in the Message version. I have tried this before and failed miserably, but this time I’m up to 86 so that can’t be bad can it? Problem I have found before and this time around is that with the unfamiliar words I often cannot imagine what the more familiar translation said. But I have persevered and occasionally I get it.

Of course there are Psalms that stand out. At risk of sounding like a bingo caller there’s 1, 8, 9, 22, 23, 24, 40, 51. many of you will know what I’m talking about.

Early on I read Psalm 5 and was completely blown away – see my blog “Fire!”. That sense of awe has not been repeated since.

A couple of things strike me when reading so many of the Psalms. This is not your typical hymn book. Try setting some of these to a tune and presenting them to your congregation. I mean “Blessed be your name” is honest but these songs go to another level.

First problem is all these psalms about vengeance. Lord get my enemies, string ’em up and do nasty things to them. I ask myself do I have any enemies? I like to think I don’t have any. And if I do aren’t I supposed to pray for them? How do I apply these Psalms to the now?

Then there’s the “God where are you” ones. Psalm 22 is of course spectacular – see my blog “Cross” and speaks so much of Jesus in a prophetic way. But others just go on and on and on moaning at God. I mean the children of Israel in the desert moaned so much that they got swallowed up by the ground, but some of these Psalmists must have tried God’s patience and yet here they are proudly displayed in his book.

Boy I was glad when I got to the end of the psalms of Asaph. This was not a cheery man to be around. God you’ve forgotten us, you’re asleep, why don’t you ever show up?

Of course many of the problems the psalmists spoke about, the people had brought on themselves and God would turn and forgive.

All this misery what does it say? Well I suppose it says to me that if I’ve got something to say to God, I should get on and say it. God will not be shocked by anything I say to him. He has heard it all before and in fact he knows what you are thinking before you say it. So tell him. God is big enough to take it. Perhaps we feel God has abandoned us. Perhaps we wish he would intervene more often. Perhaps we’d like him to sort out our enemies. And maybe if we actually get these things out in the open, then God can act.

Let me know what you think.

Who are our enemies?

Can we ever go too far telling God what we think?


From → Christianity

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