L. L. Larkins
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Why Sing the Psalms?

There was a time when all God's people sang the psalms. They were poems set to Hebraic tunes. We don't have those tunes today, but we still have the psalms. Psalmnody books (Psalters) were also used by the Pilgrims and foretrekkers to new continents. Colossians 3:16 is a mandate to the Church universal to sing the psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.

Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (HCSB)

Because of this, I wondered which parts of the mandate the modern church has done without. Do we pick and choose the topics of we wish to sing? Is there something more valuable to the faithful, or to worshiping God by singing the psalms back to Him? I have, as well, been so curious about the emphasis on God's order and law in the psalms. It seems that King David understood how important integrity, faithfulness and law are to the practical health of society. God's Kingdom on earth has a vast treasure at its fingertips! It is God's grace given through: statutes, commandments, precepts and law. How do these terms differ? King David was willing to risk his life to protect God's righteous law, yet I have had a hard time defining what "righteous" means! So, what is the purpose of these things to human relations, to victims assailed, to Christian martyrs, to families? I wonder.

Because I have a limited legal education and a double B.A. in Bible and music composition, I've worked to put the content of the psalms into lyrics that would invade our imaginations while staying true to the entire contest verse by verse of each psalm.

Since hymn tunes are also being lost to the modern church, the lyrics' meters match the old tunes in order to save these tunes for posterity.

I would love any feedback you might have regarding personal devotions using this psalm tool, or whether you have been able to incorporate any of it into congregational singing, corporate worship and praise. Enjoy, brave hearts!


About the author:  Larkins is no stranger to cross-cultural relations and various forms of Christian worship and praise. She earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and Music Composition and serves the body of Christ in prayer, in studious writing, leading worship, and ministering to other worship leaders, missionary outreach and by mentor-counseling.  


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