OT Part 5: Us and God
The Bible is a big book. In essence it is a library. As I said in an earlier blog, the Bible was written over 1600 years by over 40 authors in three different languages to a wide range of people and circumstances. That having been said, the message of the Bible is in some ways very simple.
- God created.
- God loved this creation.
- Humans were a special portion of this creation.
- God loves humans in a special way.
- Humans broke from their loving relationship with God.
- The consequences of that break were huge and continue to this day.
- God initiated and continues the work to heal that brokenness and offers reconciliation to any who will accept it on God’s terms.
- God will restore the broken world to his creative intent at the end of human history and establish a new heaven and a new earth in which his reconciled children will live eternally.
In the midst of this simple story there are a lot of diversions. The Bible presents a real picture of human beings. God’s people have high and low points. There are times we love God and sometimes when we don’t. There are times that we love like God and times when we don’t. There are times we obey God and times when we don’t. In its pages you can read about youthful enthusiasm and sage wisdom. You can read reflections upon the broken history of humanity and predictions about a new heaven and a new earth. Yes, the stories are from ancient times and different culture but human emotions, behaviors and motivations remain remarkable the same.
One of the places that this wide range of emotions is captured and presented is in the Book of Psalms. Psalms are ancient hymns to God. Even though the melodies have been lost the lyrics have been recorded for the generations. Many of the Psalms were written by David (71) and reflect the experiences and emotions of his life. Others of the Psalms were written for large gatherings of people and used during times of corporate worship. Over the centuries people have taken the Psalms, applied new melodies, and used them in their day and age to continue presenting their hearts to the Lord. Here is a short summary of the settings and underlying emotions represented in the Psalms.
- Hymns…songs of praise to God
- Communal Songs of Thanksgiving
- Individual Songs of Thanksgiving
- Communal Laments
- Individual Laments
- Royal Songs honoring leaders and the nation
- Wisdom Songs
Holman Bible Dictionary
The point? The Old Testament of the Bible shows us that we can be real with God. We do not have to put on a false pretense. We do not have to put on a show for God. The Psalms show that whatever the emotion, whatever the experience, we can talk with God about our hopes, our hurts, our heart. We can be totally honest with God. And, when you take a step back and think about it, why not? God knows what’s going on the inside of us already. When we verbalize our heart we are opening it in a brand new way to the work of God who already loves us.