The Expository Files

When the Psalms are Psung

Yes, it's clever but it is not original with me. I suppose if we "sing" songs then we "psing" psalms. Actually, I saw this idea in a book that is a part of a whole series of guidebooks in various subjects. There is The Complete Idiot's Guide to Car Repair and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Windows '98 and so forth. I was surprised when browsing through the typical, bright orange covers of this self-help series when I came across one with the title The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Bible. I opened it to see what it might say, hoping it would not denigrate or mock the Scriptures. I was pleasantly surprised. There's actually some useful information in this book. In fact, lot's of it!

For example, after commenting about God being spoken of as a shepherd and some of the reasons behind it, the authors go on to give us examples of more images of God used in the Psalms:

Shield (Psalm 3:3) "But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head."

Judge (Psalm 7:11) "God is a righteous judge, And a God who has indignation every day."

Creator (Psalm 8:3,4) "When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?"

Rock/Fortress/Deliverer (Psalm 18:2) "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

Savior of the Drowning (Psalm 18:16) "He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters."

Avenger (Psalm 18:47) "The God who executes vengeance for me, And subdues peoples under me."

Landlord (Psalm 24:1) "(A Psalm of David.) The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it."

Teacher (Psalm 25:8,9) "Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way."

Warrior (Psalm 35:1) "(A Psalm of David.) Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; Fight against those who fight against me."

Refuge/Strength (Psalm 46:1) "(For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song.) God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble."

Redeemer (Psalm 49:15) "But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol; For He will receive me. Selah."

Father (Psalm 68:5) "A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows, Is God in His holy habitation. God makes a home for the lonely; He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land."

King (Psalm 93:1) "The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The Lord has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Thy throne is established from of old; Thou art from everlasting."

By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 7.10; October 2000