Think back to the inspirational direction in other sections of the Bible. In the narratives, the writer is telling us a story; there is occasional reflection, but mostly the story is just presented, selectively, of course, but walking a path with a beginning and an end. The prophets, meanwhile, were motivated by the “Word of the LORD.” There was narrative woven throughout, and almost always a contemporary story to which the prophet was responding, but the voice from above, conveyed through the mouth and pen of the prophet, stimulated the product.
Take notice that wisdom literature is different altogether. Most of what we saw in Job, and what we’re seeing in Psalms, is human reflection on their experience of the Divine. Some Psalms, like 26 and 30 today, are directed toward the LORD. Others, like 27 and 29, are directed at other worshippers. And still others, like 28 and 31, switch between the two. But all of them are written from the perspective of a worshipper of the LORD. This makes them accessible, personal, near, in a way that might be more intimate than other scriptures.
But this intimacy carries risk. Listen to this from Psalm 30: “Sing praises to the LORD, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime.” There are two clauses here that are not independent. “Sing…and give thanks…” is the exhortation, but this is because of the LORD’s attributes. In other words, to the Psalmist, the LORD’s character naturally leads to – even demands – a response.
I’m covering this because I don’t want you to take the Psalms lightly. This is the worship book – the book of songs and prayers – that has been used by the worshippers of the LORD for thousands of years. If, as Psalm 29 declares, “the LORD sits enthroned as king forever…,” then the Psalmist’s call to “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name” applies to every generation that follows.
Our verses for this week are Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Psalms 26 through 31. Now let’s read it!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.