The book of Psalms is a breathtaking portrait of life in a fallen world. A world where God reigns in justice and mercy on behalf of his people, but where that reign has yet to take complete hold, not least of the rebellious corners of his people’s hearts. It is thus a portrait of life “in the meantime”—the time between the promises of God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to deliver his people and establish his reign, and the realization of those promises. As such, this book gives poetic expression to the full range of human emotion and experience during this meantime, from the pit where life is shrouded in darkness and despair with no sign of God’s presence (e.g. Ps. 13) to the very dwelling place of God where our hearts overflow in desire and praise (e.g. Ps. 84), and everywhere in between.
At the same time, the book of Psalms is far more than a collection of God’s people’s words to God; it is preeminently God’s divinely revealed word to his people. As such, the Psalms not only express human realities, but instruct us in how we should respond to God amid those diverse realities—with honesty, patience, joy, trust, praise, and hope in the God whose steadfast love and faithfulness endures to all generations, being manifest supremely in the person and work of Jesus Christ. In this connection the Psalms present an abiding word to the people of God in Christ, who wrestle with many of these same realities during a similar “meantime”—the time between the victory Jesus won on the cross and the fulfillment of all God’s promises in a new creation at Christ’s return.
For all these reasons, we spent several months exploring the Psalms with its fresh and much needed voice for the church today. Our focus was on selections from the first of five books in the Psalms, chapters 1-41. So listen, enjoy, and wrestle with the realities of walking with God in the meantime by looking at the Christian life through the lens of the Psalms.