People are drawn to the wisdom literature of the Old Testament. One of the reasons for this is because these books speak both to us and for us in times of pain and confusion.
We turn to them to know what it means to pursue wisdom and how to live the good life. We also find ourselves turning to them in hopes of finding our own heartache, emotions, and struggles represented in the lives of people who have gone before us. Given the fact that they are raw with emotions themselves, they have a way of helping us navigate through our own feelings and circumstances from a God-centered perspective.
Where else can you find such clear levels of pain and sorrow and confusion and hope than in Job’s suffering, in the psalmist’s struggles, or in the preacher’s savvy counsel (Ecclesiastes)? The existential nature of the wisdom literature is what draws many people to this section of Scripture, especially during times of uncertainty and crisis.
I would venture to say that perhaps of all the wisdom literature books, it is the Psalms that people turn to most during difficult times. The book of Psalms was the ancient songbook for the nation of Israel. It contains individual prayers and petitions, as well as historical reflections on both the people and the nation of Israel as a whole in poetic fashion. Its content and structure is replete with theological significance, capable of encouraging and challenging both scholars and lay people alike. And as stated already, the Psalms have a unique way of speaking both to us inspirationally, as well as for us when our emotions are overflowing and we don’t quite know the words to say.
I say all of this to emphasize that the Psalms are something we could use a bit more of in our lives right now. In light of the real fears and anxiety in our shared experience, we could all benefit by turning to the Psalms together and allowing them to speak to us and for us as we humble ourselves before God and seek his grace and mercy during this time.
To help with this, the CSB Bible Team, in conjunction with Trevin Wax, has created a Psalm reading and prayer guide for the month of April. Beginning April 1, we are inviting everyone to dive into this free resource and allow the Psalms to fill our hearts and minds during this troublesome time. This resource is designed to help us pray through different chapters of the Psalms each day, allowing God’s Word to speak directly to our fears and anxieties by fixing our eyes and hope on the One who is in control.
Even though we are scattered right now, each in his or her own home, imagine how we can come together and connect in this shared experience of reading and praying the Psalms together for the month of April. We can stay on the same page spiritually by reading the same pages. And imagine what God might do in us and through us as we seek him together through the reading and praying of his Word. I hope you’ll take advantage of this resource and join us!
To find the Psalms prayer guide, click here.