Friday, July 17, 2009

Book of Psalms

Psalms is an interesting book.

One thing I find interesting about it is how Psalms is often misread in modern times.

People think Psalms is about peace and love and such but the surprising thing about Psalms is that it isn't. There's definitely a dual character to that book. Most modern readers and preachers seem to have really missed this essential part of Psalms.

Once in a while I go to church. Recently the preacher spoke about Psalm 145, specifically verse 20 (NIV).

20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

Now this is an interesting verse because it captures the dual spirit of Psalms. As it happened, and not surprisingly, the preacher spoke for a while about the first part of the verse. The part about love and the Lord.

However the preacher completely missed the key second line. About how the Lord will destroy the wicked.

That runs all through Psalms. The wicked, the enemy of Israel, etc. are constantly being destroyed, and made into footstools. Psalms is not at all a book of peace and love. In virtually every chapter the enemy gets his in Psalms.

Even the famous Psalms 23. They had to "walk through the valley of the shadow of death". Not a fun neighbourhood to be passing through. Good thing the Lord was with the Isrealites through their journeys, handing out rough justice to Israels opponents.

In a way it's too bad about Psalms that everyone just talks about the peace and love part and misses so much of the real richness and character of the book.

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