The value of the Book of Psalms is incalculable. King David left us with a legacy the price of which is beyond expression.
THE PSALMS ARE PROMINENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Psalms is one of the two Old Testament books most often quoted in the New Testament. The other contender is the Book of Isaiah. Our Lord saw Himself as the fulfillment of the messianic prophecies and types of the Psalms. It’s difficult to comprehend why people imagine that the Old Testament has been superseded by the New Testament. The entire New Testament is in the womb of the Old. We neglect it to the impoverishment of our souls. On many a dark day I have found solace in the Psalms.
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44).
In his debate with the Pharisees He cited Psalm 110 (Matt. 22:43-44) to show that David spoke of Him in the Psalms.
The Lord says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” Psalm 110:1.
The Lord also uttered the beginning words of Psalm 22 from the cross (Matt. 27:46).
“My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me.”
The apostles frequently quoted from the Psalms as biblical proof of the fact that Jesus was the promised Messiah of the Old Testament. Peter quoted Psalm 16:8-11 as proof that Jesus must be raised from the dead (Acts 2:24-36). Paul’s message was virtually identical (cf. Acts 13:29-39). Any book so prominent in the minds of the New Testament writers should also be important to us.
8 I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, that I be not moved.
9 Therefore my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover, my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; nor wilt thou give thy holy one to see corruption.
11 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hand are delights even to the end.
THE PSALMS HAVE HAD A PROMINENT ROLE IN THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH THROUGH THE AGES
According to Paul’s letter to Timothy the reading of Scripture was to play an important role in the assembled worship of the saints (1 Tim. 4:13). From 1 Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 we can safely infer that the singing of the Psalms was a vital part of the corporate worship experience of the first Christians.
Not only did the church continue to sing the Psalms, the early fathers often chose to write commentaries on the Book of Psalms. Among these fathers were St Chrysostom and St Augustine. The church of the Reformation made much use of the Psalms and holy men like Martin Luther were known for their love of this book. Perhaps we are safe in saying that no biblical book has seen more use throughout Christendom than has the Psalter. Its a book that unites Catholics, Eastern Orthodox., Anglicans, Lutherans and Protestants.
In the Daily Offices of the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Anglican Churches the Psalms are said or sung every day. Anglican Evensong in our cathedrals attract a large number of people. The beauty and solemnity of the Psalms have a great capacity to move the human heart.
They cover every aspect of our lives.
Canterbury Cathedral Choir.
Let brotherly love continue and may all who are His worship Him, One Church, One Lord, One God and Father of us all.
A question for you, Malcolm. Did the Anglican Church follow suit in suppressing the imprecatory psalms like the Catholic Church did in 1970? In my mind the Psalter is incomplete without them and we have lost more that we gained by their elimination.
No, the Psalms are said as originally intended. Once you start rejecting verses because they appear objectionable to our “refined” Western mind set you lose the deeper meaning that these omissions intend us to hear.
Once you start picking and choosing in Holy Scripture there won’t be much left. Actually I value the cursing bits and can say them with conviction. I’ve always regarded them as applying to the devil and all his works.
Of course in these so called “enlightened days” the devil has been side-lined if not rejected all together. No wonder he has such power. Folk have no defence against an enemy who they don’t think exists. More fool them.
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Glad to hear that . . . I think the Church made a dreadful mistake in removing them and their time would have been better spent explaining the spiritual way in which they should be read. Just another bit of Vatican II’s dumbing down of liturgy and the liturgy of the hours I fear. It is almost as if the Vatican is saying to pastors, religious and laity that they are too obtuse to understand these things. Very sad.
What is very sad is that the entire balance of the Psalm is upset. What follows and what comes after the “unacceptable” verses loses much of its meaning and application.
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Well we seemed to be fine with it until 1970 and then they thought they could improve that which needed no improvement. Like it or not, these psalms and selected versus are part of Holy Writ and we best learn how to utilize them as intended or we risk impoverishing the Word of God.