A workbook to study selected Psalms for group use.
Who hasn’t experienced the highs and lows of everyday life? We have all encountered joy and sadness; good and bad; health and illness; wealth and poverty; friendship and loneliness; security and fear – the normal experiences and emotions of human existence. We often forget that the biblical characters also experienced the full range of human emotions. Their life experiences are recorded in God’s word for our help and learning. The Bible is an excellent resource to help us face the joys and trials of life. It assures us of God’s ever-present help. Everyday living is best expressed through the writings of the psalmists, a variety of authors who recorded their everyday experiences from which we can learn and be encouraged.
The Book of Psalms (‘Psalter,’ ‘the book of praises,’ a word originally used to refer to the variety of stringed instruments used in the Old Testament worship then later applied to the actual songs) contains 150 ‘songs’ of praise and prayer. Each Psalm has its own unique purpose, but they can all be used in private or public worship to express thanksgiving to God and as a manual for nurturing spiritual life. That is, they bring the reader into contact with God in a way that can promote personal reflection and spiritual growth.
Yahweh the God of Israel is the centre of the Psalms because he is the centre of life. Each of the psalmists engages with God in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons. God is the creator and sustainer of life; the provider of help and support; the source of forgiveness and true happiness; perhaps best summarised in Ps 124:8:
Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
As you contemplate life, how much of an influence does God have on your everyday experiences?