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Jul 14/2015

Gate Community Summer - Day 23

As we journey through the Bible, we see a consistent theme teaching us about how we can hear God. The book of Psalm offers some good insights as we desire to hear from God.

The Psalms are instructive about God, people and life.

The Psalms are meant to be instructive about God, people and life. When we read the Psalms, we are meant to learn things about God and about human nature and about how life is to be lived. Some poetry that we can read makes no claim to instruct the mind. The Psalms do. They are meant to be instructive about what God is all about, who we are as people and how our lives intersect with God in everything.

Psalm 1 introduces the whole book of Psalms. In Psalm 1:2 we read, “His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” The word for law is torah, and the general meaning for torah is instruction. In other words, the Psalms cover the whole range of God’s instruction. The entire book of Psalms is introduced by a call to meditate on God’s instructions. 

With this ‘law’ idea in mind, add to this the way the book of Psalms is structured. It is divided into five books that begin with Psalms 1, 42, 73, 90, and 107. From the earliest times, these five divisions have been seen as a conscious effort to make the Psalms parallel to the five books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) which are usually called the “law” books.

So when Psalm 1 introduces all five books by saying that the righteous person “meditates on the law of the Lord day and night,” it probably means that these five books of the psalms, not just the five books of Moses, are the law of the Lord—the instruction of the Lord—that we should meditate on day and night.

What has been your relationship to the book of Psalms?

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