If you've spent any time with me, looking at my Facebook, or talked to me at all recently, you will have heard about a recent trip I took to a Scottish island called Lewis...where, among other things, I was introduced to Psalm Singing. The church I enjoyed fellowship and communion with use metrical versions of the psalms to sing them in their services. For all my friends back home who are looking askance at your computer screen right now...it's worshiping the Lord alone, with His Word alone, using the God-given instrument of our voices alone. It was such a blessing to sing God's word with other believers and revelatory to think about how easy it is to hide God's word in your heart through song.
Coming home, I continued to dwell on the idea of singing Psalms and the beauty and importance of that. As the Spirit would have it, in a recent bible study at Calvary Church, we were going through a short series on what worship is (that's an entirely different blog for an entirely different day). However, that evening, we were discussing worship specifically through song (side note, did you know that the Hebrew word for 'singer' and 'singers' is mentioned 37 times...and only once translated in the singular form? Chew on that for a bit...)
What really stood out to me was when we talked about the word "psalm" and it's meaning. Did you know it translates into the english simply as "melody"? Blue Letter Bible tells me that it's root word comes from the verb "zamar" which means "to sing" or "make music" (Insert the caustic "duh!" moment here).
Well, you might have known or guessed that, but this particular evening it was like a light switched on for me. It really got me thinking about how there are times in my life that I am led to pour out my heart to the Lord but, like David and the other psalmists (poets? song writers?), sometimes just journaling facts doesn't rightly express what my heart is wanting to say. Sometimes (especially for those artsy dreamers out there like me), a poem or a song is calling to burst forth.
These are the psalms of our hearts.
These are the words that the Lord has given us to praise Him in a very personal way. These are the melodies that Ephesians speaks of when Paul exhorts us to "be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, - Ephesians 5:18b-20 NKJV
The Psalms in the bible are songs that overflowed from these men, led by the Spirit, and ordained to be kept and canonised that we might be able to glean from them thousands of years later.
I know that His Word was given to us that we might learn from it, grow from it, be complete in it as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
His Word is also meant to be hidden in our hearts as Psalm 119:11 says: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You."
I know that singing the Psalms of the bible will be beneficial for recalling His promises and exhortations for me. It will draw me closer to Him in a binding and beautiful way. Reading His word daily will do the same.
These things will also be adding to the well springing up inside of me that, as a believer, I cannot keep from overflowing. His word will dwell in me and I pray that He would use that well to overflow into psalms of my heart.
That I might make a joyful noise to His glory.
A melody for my Lord.