A. The Relevance of the Psalms
In his commentary on the Psalms (Word, 1986), Don Williams describes several aspects of the Psalter that are especially relevant to the church today:
(1) Renewal in Worship. The Psalms model praise and devotion as they flow from the hearts of people who know the living God. They meditate upon God's majesty and respond to His intervention by giving Him glory. They ring with shouts and singing. They summon every living being and every human instrument into a choir of praise to the merciful and mighty God (Ps. 150). The renewal of the church begins in a renewal of worship. The psalms will lead us into a deeper intimacy with our Creator and Redeemer and show us how to praise Him properly.
(2) Renewal in our own self-awareness. As God reveals Himself, He reveals us; as we become intimate with God, we become intimate with ourselves (see Calvin's Institutes, I). The full range of human emotions is displayed in these living prayers, without the hypocrisy and pretense so often characteristic of the modern church.. Thus the psalms of lament teach us to accept ourselves before God, 'warts and all' (Cromwell), as the Lord accepts us.
[It was in this regard that Martin Luther said of the Psalms: "Where does one find finer words of joy than in the Psalms of praise and thanksgiving? There you look into the hearts of all the saints, as into fair and pleasant gardens, yes, as into heaven itself. . . . On the othe