Why Sing the Psalms? -The Christward Collective

Why Sing the Psalms? | The Christward Collective.

Psalter1912I truly appreciated this brief post by Dr. David Murray made this past Tuesday, Oct.22 (professor of OT at Puritan Reformed Seminary here in Grand Rapids). I know that we love the Psalms for devotions, because they speak for us as well as to us concerning every circumstance of life, from the spiritually high to the spiritually heavy.

But sometimes we struggle with why we should sing them (whether mostly or only) in public worship. Maybe Murray’s thoughts will help us understand why it is good in every season of our lives to do so.

Here is the first part of his post. Read the rest at the link above. And then go and sing heartily to the Lord tomorrow.

Since coming to America over six years ago my family has continued our Scottish tradition of singing our way through the Scottish Metrical Psalms at family worship.  We sing four verses at a time and when we get to the end of the Psalms we simply start all over again. It’s one of the ways we fight to stay connected to our precious spiritual heritage. But it’s not always straightforward. For example on Friday evening we ended up singing Psalm 31 verses 9-12 which starts:

9. O Lord, upon me mercy have,
For trouble is on me:
Mine eye, my belly, and my soul,
With grief consumed be.

10. Because my life with grief is spent,
My years with sighs and groans:
My strength doth fail; and for my sin
Consumed are my bones.

Which raises a big problem; because it’s simply not true of me or my family at this  present time of our lives. Quite the opposite, in fact. So how or why do we sing such songs?  We talked about this afterwards as a family and came up with four reasons why we should still sing this psalm, and many others like them, even though not an accurate  description of our present experience or circumstances.

1. It reminds us of suffering Christians all over the world. This psalm reminds us  that there are many Christian who are passing through such dark valleys and deep  waters. When we sing such songs, we are effectively praying for suffering Christians  all over the world. We are interceding for the persecuted in North Korea and Iran.  But we are also reminded of the afflicted in our own circles too and challenged to  reach out to them in practical sympathy.

Please, don’t take your life …

This morning in my email box was this timely and helpful post about what looks to be a great book on mental illness and depression ,including a section on suicide. The author apparently was near that himself, and put down these reasons for why he should not. They are excellent and I believe will be useful to those who know the dark pit of discouragement and despair. I have ordered the book and plan to read it for my own benefit, as well as to pass on to others. You may want to do the same. -cjt

The Reformed Reader Blog

Several weeks ago, Steve and Robyn Bloem were gracious enough to send me a copy of their book, Broken Minds: Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You’re “Losing It” (Kregel Publications, 2005).  Shane has drawn attention to this book before, here, here and here.

I’ve been working my way through this book and was really struck by a list of reasons Steve gave to himself to convince himself not to commit suicide.  This is a dark and difficult subject and is often not blogged about in polite company, but I was struck by how thoughtful and gripping this list was. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, perhaps this list might serve as a place to start when thinking of reasons to choose life:

  • It is a sin and would bring shame to Christ and His church.

  • It would please the Devil and would…

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