The Book of Psalms
by READ 365
Today’s psalm could be grouped into the category of Laments. Laments help a person or a group express struggles, suffering or disappointment to the Lord.

Laments often contain verbalizations to God of anger at others (called imprecatory psalms). These psalms guide or channel our anger to and through God verbally, rather than to or at anyone else. The imprecatory psalms help us, when we feel anger, not to do anger. While harboring or displaying anger against others is something we should all avoid (Matt. 5:22), we can honestly express our anger to God, no matter how bitterly and hatefully we feel it, and let God take care of justice against those who misuse us.

How can you make this prayer-song of lament your own today?

The Psalms are prayers and songs composed for use in worship by the ancient Israelites. They are the voice of Yahweh’s people singing to him in praise and prayer. They function also to remind them—and us—of the central role of worship in the biblical story, worship that focuses on the living God by recalling his essential goodness and love and his wondrous deeds on their behalf.

It’s interesting to realize that the Bible contains not only words from God to people, but also words spoken to God or about God. The Psalms are just such words because they are by nature prayers and hymns addressed to God. They do not function primarily for the teaching of doctrine or moral behavior; yet they are inspired scripture which help us express ourselves to God and to consider his ways.

We as Christians can use the Psalms in three important ways.

· They are a guide to worship, helping us find the right words for what we want to express;

· They model for us how to relate honestly the full range of our prayers to God; and

· They show the importance of meditating on what God has done for us.

The Psalms are of great benefit to the believer who wishes to have help from the Bible in expressing joys and sorrows, successes and failures, hopes and regrets, thanks and desires.


Adapted from How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth (1982) and How to Read the Bible Book by Book (2002), both by Fee and Stuart (www.Zondervan.com).


READ 365About READ 365
For Browncroft’s Year of Courageous Faith, Read 365 will take us in depth to look at the courageous life of Jesus and the early church. May 2014 be a year where all of us move together into a faith that imitates our Lord’s as our eyes are opened to the greater reality of God’s work around us.
Prayer of the Week
Dear Lord, move me like a mountain rock tumbling to a settled place. Expose me in a tender way like the dew in a morning fog lifting from the night. Hear me as I groan in a melody that sings the birth of a baby. Refresh me with the perfume of a lavender scent that calms the inner soul. Hear my cry. Ease my heart.
Weekly Memory Verse
You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made.
-Job 14:15
Monthly Spiritual Practice
Seeking the Father's Will
Although he was God, Jesus emptied himself and became fully human. Though he never sinned and always sought and followed the Father’s will, he shared our humanity. God has a perfect plan to restore his creation to be the way he intended it. We each have a part in that plan that the Father designed for us. This month pray often to understand God’s will for your life and pray for the strength to submit to his will.