Day 1: Introduction
Welcome to our new devotional which will run for the next four weeks. Over these coming weeks we will journey our way through the amazing book of Psalms, stopping off at some of the key places along the way.
Before we embark on the journey through this fascinating book, let’s consider for a moment just what lies before us.
All together there are 150 Psalms in the Bible, written over a period of 900 years! Many are in the form of hymns of praise and thanksgiving which have been sung for generations, some are laments, some wisdom literature, and more besides.
In terms of authorship, David is thought to have written 73, King Asaph 12, the sons of Korah 11, Ethan and Heman 2, Solomon and Moses 3, leaving 49 anonymous Psalms. As a result, the subject matter is incredibly diverse covering everything from praise, faith, trust, repentance, loss, depression, anxiety and tons more besides.
If you need comfort, you’ll find it in Psalms. If you need a reminder of God’s faithfulness you’ll find it here. If it’s provision, Psalms has got you covered. Perhaps you need a reminder that God can forgive your biggest mistakes, you guessed it, Psalms is the place to go. Even Jesus in his preaching and praying, referred to the Psalms time and time again.
Psalms is also as real and honest as it gets, it doesn’t attempt to disguise the trials its writers faced, but no matter how bad things got, Psalms always points its readers towards trusting and praising God.
What’s unique about the Psalms is that it doesn’t tell a story, (there are other books for that). Instead the Psalms are declarations addressed directly to God, by the characters in the bible stories, in which they express their thoughts and emotions in a real and personal way. For example Psalms gives an insight to how David felt when Saul’s men pursued him (Psalm 59), or just what was Moses thinking in the wilderness (Psalm 90)?
In summary, despite being thousands of years old, all the Psalms in one way or another mirror the experiences we face as we journey through life today.
In opening up to God in such a raw and genuine way, the Psalmists give voice to our challenges. My prayer is that we would find Psalms give context to our journey, and stir our faith in this challenging season.
Tomorrow, we get started with Psalm 1. See you then!
Ps Dan Hoyle
Campus Pastor, Bishop Auckland