Imagine walking into your weekend church service. The worship team takes the stage and begins to sing—a psalm.
On the way home from church, the kids hit their favorite Christian playlist—of psalms.
A popular Christian band wins a Dove award for—an album of psalms.
For ancient Israel, the psalms held the top spot in worship tunes of the day. Psalms stuck in people’s heads. Israelite women hummed psalms as they kneaded bread and folded laundry. Men whistled the psalms on the way to work. Kids oohed and aahed over King David’s latest chorus.
For me, approaching the psalms as favorites like “Amazing Grace” or the latest Hillsong album was never my mindset—until now. Seminary will do that to you. Allow me to tweak your perspective.
- God loves music. Music is a big deal to God. The book of Psalms wins the prize for the largest book in the Bible. It holds 150 songs. Songs, not chapters. How does your worship playlist stack up to God’s?
- We live in the arts. In the psalms, you will see every possible human emotion expressed—and God handles them just fine. You will also see that whatever the circumstance, the psalmist always returns to hope in God and praise to Him.
- The psalms direct our priorities. The psalms strike a different tone than most contemporary Christian tunes today. They are straightforward about life and its realities. They don’t mince words concerning right and wrong. They make a clear distinction between the world’s way and God’s way. They focus our thoughts on what God sees as important. We need that as life bombards us with everything ungodly.
As a college student, I had Keith Green’s Psalm 23 and Psalm 8 running through my head. They still do, but a search on Spotify led me to several more albums devoted to the psalms. Since many psalms I’ve heard put to present-day music tend to be slow, I gravitated to Shane and Shane’s albums, hoping to find something more upbeat. They didn’t disappoint.
So, here’s your challenge. Choose a psalm you like and see if it’s been set to music. Learn the psalm—memory work and worship all in one! Tap into God’s Word this week and use the psalms as God originally intended, not just as Bible study, but as praise.
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2 Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Come into His presence with singing.