I could feel the emotional intensity building throughout the book of Job; the tension builds, and the speeches become increasingly emotional and increasingly angry. And how interesting that Psalm 1 comes immediately after Job! It almost sounds like the argument of Job’s friends – but with a significant difference. The psalm says God blesses those who walk intimately with Him; it never affirms the unwarranted conclusion of Job’s friends that suffering means you must not be walking with God.
I must admit that in listening to the whole book of Psalms in a couple of sittings, my mind wandered, partially because of the repetition; but I still got a feel for the book as a whole. I heard brutal honesty, intimacy with God, transparency, doctrine, praise, complaint, imagery. Both questioning and trust – usually in the same psalm! Artistry and emotion mixed with truth – no wonder I’m attracted to them as a musician & communicator!
(This was a seminary class assignment originally dated October 15, 2006. For an introduction and table of contents for this series, see New Series: Old Testament Reading Journal)