Day 18: Psalms 1 – 50

Imagination is needed to release the treasures of the psalms. It is hard to realize how different was the psalmists’ world from our world; few books and no phones, e-mail, or TV; pasture, not concrete; flocks, not investments; paths, not streets; an enclosed world lacking mobility. Anything they wrote, any poems they handed down, should, in theory, be so far removed from our world as to be practically useless, however, these ancient writers share with us a common humanity, and their writings touch our hearts and minds precisely because they deal with matters which affect humans: justice in a world of injustice; relationships with God, each another, outsiders and wicked people; love and hate; sickness and depression; sin and forgiveness; these are the stuff of which our humanity is made. The problems that torture and tease us are the same whether we live in the year 2000BC or AD. We and the psalmists are one.

These Psalms are externalised expressions of human passion; love, anger, frustration, vengeance, and all directed to the one who can best address the situation. They ‘sing to the Lord’ and the rhythms are musical, but above all the psalms are poems, and poems need time, so, after Lent, come back and reread some, or all of them, at leisure.

Tony Levene


Read the Bible on line at Bible Study Tools. Today’s passage (NRSV) is here:


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