Probably some of the most familiar words in the Christian church are “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Some people can even recite the 23rd Psalm in its entirety, or at least they are familiar enough with it to follow along if others are reciting it. But there are 149 other Psalms, just as beautiful and just as much a part of the canon of scripture.
Many of us have a favorite Psalm, the 23rd or another one (mine is probably Psalm 138) but other than reading them as we read through the Bible in a year, or when the pastor preaches on one or more of the Psalms, how many of us spend time savoring the richness of the Psalter?
When did you study the Psalms, when have you prayed them, when did you set aside time each day to be quiet with the Psalms, to use them as part of your devotions, your daily walk with God?
It’s tough, some of the are less than pleasant to read, they’re songs of lament, of bitterness; others are songs of great joy as the people approach the Holy City. Others have a different focus, but the Psalms are hymns of joy, they are prayers.
If you don’t know where to start, may I recommend a starting point. A newly released book, Shalom in Psalms: A Devotional from the Jewish Heart of the Christian Faith (Jeffrey Seif, Glenn Blank, and Paul Wilbur, Baker Books, 2017), takes on each one of the Psalms and offers a short devotional message to help us get the most of the Psalm. I mentioned that I am particularly fond of Psalm 138. The comments are so on track with why this psalm is so important to me. God doesn’t abandon me—or you—He has a purpose for each of us and He will fulfill that purpose.
You might not agree with every devotional, I didn’t, but at least they encouraged me to think about what the psalms mean to me, what god wants me to hear and learn; and spending time with God is all about hearing what He wants me to hear, not what someone else thinks I should think
In the interest of transparency, I received a copy of this book from Baker Books’ blogging program. I was asked to read and review the book and post the review, which was not required to be a positive review.