Each week I join a group of women to share a cup of coffee and talk about a specific Psalm. It has become a highlight of my week and a deep source of encouragement. We range in age from early twenties to almost fifty (that would be me…yikes!) and are all in different seasons of life. We cross over in church membership and the school our children attend. We all have different faith backgrounds and history.
But we find common ground delving into the beautiful and rich book of psalms that is at the center of the Scriptures.
It is here that we find story.
We find history.
We find revelation.
Here we find praise.
We find lament.
We find comfort.
We find declarations of the faithfulness of Yahweh.
We find instruction.
Wisdom is shared in verse and song. Indeed many, if not all, are meant to be sung or chanted by God’s people. My friends are an adventurous lot and as much as possible we end our time together by singing the weekly Psalm from our cantus. (The beautiful sound of the eight of us singing The King of Love (Psalm 23) almost brought me to tears.)
The writing of the book of Psalms spans centuries and has multiple authors including at least seven named writers with about fifty psalms that have no author attributed to them.
David is credited with writing seventy-three psalms for sure with the possibility of having written a dozen others.
There are 150 chapters all together and the order we know today is not chronological. Psalm 90, penned by Moses, is actually the oldest psalm.
The entire book can be broken down into five smaller books or collections.
Psalm 1-41 ~ these chapters focus on God beside us during times of trouble
Psalm 42-72 ~ the emphasis is on God going before us as rescuer and also as Judge
Psalm 73-89 ~ reminds us of God’s faithfulness and that He is all around us
Psalm 90-106 ~ we are directed to see God above us, as one who is worthy of our worship and praise
Psalm 107-150 ~ these final chapters are a call to thankfulness in response to God being among us
The psalms literally run the gamut of the entire human experience. No matter what our circumstance they declare that God not only hears His people but delights in answering them.
He is with us, He goes before us, He surrounds us, He reigns over us, and He dwells among us.
We know that all Scripture is inspired by God but the book of Psalms is interesting in that it is directed to God. It is a manual for us on how to speak to God and about God in every situation we could possibly find ourselves in.
What a gift!
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. ~ Psalm 32: 8
The time with these women each week with the focus on a single psalm has been very profitable and like sharing the recipe of a good meal with others I want to share some bits and pieces of conversation.
So grab a cup of coffee or tea and pull up a chair on Saturday mornings and contemplate with us the rich beauty of the psalms. I’d love to have your join us.
Do you have a favorite psalm?