ETL.022: What You Don’t Know About the Most Beloved Book of the Bible: Psalms

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In our “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith” interviews the truth has been borne out that Scripture has played a vital role in handling not only the hardships and constant struggles of life, but the bombshells sometimes dropped on us.  That fact, coupled with a class that I recently began teaching brought my attention to a particular book of the Bible, the Old Testament book of Psalms.

The book is unique in the Bible in that its made up entirely of poetic material, the words of songs (roughly speaking), that were collected over long period of time in Israel’s history.  The fact that the content of this book are of this nature (as opposed to history or laws or doctrine) have led some to have an attitude that views the Psalms as somehow less valuable or less important.  What a mistake!

 

The Incomparable Value of Psalms

We most of think of things like poetry and praise and songs when we think about the book of Psalms; and that’s with good reason.  But there are some things about Psalms we may not know.

For instance that the book of Psalms is actually a collection of five smaller books.  Notice in your Bible before the title for Psalms 1, 42, 73, 90, and 107.  You’ll probably see the words Book 1, Book 2, and so on.  What is more each of these books ends with a “doxology” ( a word of praise). Notice Psalms 41:13 and 72:18-19 as examples.  We also discuss some other “collections” within the book as well.

Another feature of the book you may not know—I failed to cover this in the podcast, so this is bonus material in the show notes!—is that though the book is attributed to David, there are many other authors covering a very long time span.  The earliest Psalm was apparently written by Moses (see the heading for Psalm 90).  The latest that can be identified is Psalm 137 which obviously comes from the time of Babylonian captivity.

 

Historically valuable

• In the Bible itself—it’s the most quoted Old Testament book in the New Testament
• In the history of Christianity it has been cherished and valued
• Today as evidenced in it’s influence in our hymns (look at the Scripture index of a hymn book.

 

Teach us how to praise God

• Modern worshipers sometimes make a false distinction between worship and praise. They designate a certain worship assembly as a “praise service.”  All worship is praise, all praise is worship.
• We learn the language of praise from the Psalms. The very vocabulary and expressions we use to praise God ought to be heavily influenced by the Psalms.
• A common failing of modern praise songs is the lack reasons why God is to be praised.  The Psalms not only praise, but tell why God is to be praised.

 

Expressions of faith and praise from all perspectives of life

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons we love the Psalms is that they are expressions of faith and praise from all perspectives of life; even when things are difficult and we may be struggling.  In this way the Psalms can speak not only to us but for us as we go through all the highs and lows of life.

 

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God bless!

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ETL.021: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Linda Shaffer; Forgiveness When Forgiving is So Hard

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forgive_sLet me set the stage for just a moment: a previous interview (actually a two-part interview) focused on the story of Chuck Shaffer, a former minister arrested in an internet sting operation and who served time in a federal penitentiary .  He lost his career, his reputation, his standing in the community and the church.  He also nearly lost his faith and his family.  Incredibly, he was able to rebuild that shattered life—see episodes 11 and 13 (click here for episode 11 and here for 13).

There’s an equally incredible story behind that story—it’s the one of the betrayed and forsaken wife.  In this interview Linda Shaffer shares her story of forgiveness; wanting to model a Christ-like spirit to her own children she knew she must forgive. Facing challenges and negative responses from surprising sources she struggled to forgive.  The process (and she emphasizes it’s been a long process) has brought great blessing and joy to her life.  In many ways so much more so than was previously true.

We all must learn to forgive and Linda has great insights to share as one who come to forgive when forgiving was so very hard.

 

Pics:

Linda and daughter, Makayla

Linda and daughter, Makayla

 

Linda’s favorite Scriptures:

Philippians 2:5-11

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Proverbs 16:3-4

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.  The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Romans 10:11

“For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’”

 

To get Reassembled

with Linda’s chapter “Why I Chose to Forgive”
Send an email requesting the book to: cbs@rlcbusiness.com
The only expense to you will be for shipping.

 

David’s Interview

To listen to David’s interview on The Jenkins Institute Podcast with Dale and Jeff Jenkins CLICK HERE

 

Sign Up!

Be sure to sign up for the Enjoy True Living email update list.  The sign up form is at the upper right hand section of this website homepage.  Just give us your name and email address to  received updates on released podcasts, blog posts, and other important information.

 

Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:

iTunes

 

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

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