Does it take a course in music appreciation to read the songs of the Bible?
I’m wondering this while reading Psalm 5, knowing that David was a man after God’s own heart; remembering that this song has been sung by God’s people down through the ages; and realizing that it is a song that is part of a God-breathed Bible.
The question also comes on the heels of conversations we’ve had about how to read the Bible. In what sense is this song part of the Word of God? Are we to read David’s inspired words as being equal to something God Himself said? Or are we to reflect on this song as if we are taking a music appreciation course from the Spirit of God?
More specifically, I’ve been wondering what difference it would make to read the stories, proverbs, predictions, and letters of the Bible not first of all as God’s words spoken to us, but rather as God-breathed and God-given elements of the story of Christ. In other words, if the Bible was given to tell the story of the Living Word who wants to live His life through us, what difference does that make in how we read and hear every piece and part of the Bible?
With that background, I’d like to think together about the 5th Psalm. I’m hoping you can find the lyrics by running your cursor over the following groupings: Ps. 5:1-3; Ps. 5:4-6; Ps. 5:7-8; Ps. 5:9-10; Ps. 5:11-12.
One of the first things to notice is that these words don’t claim to be God speaking to David, or to us, but rather David’s words to God. Second, they are words that express the king’s request for help in light of his enemies.
Here then is the question I’d like us to think about together: How does David’s attitude toward his enemies (i.e., Ps. 5:10) line up with Jesus’ actions and attitudes toward those who hated Him?
Does that difference matter in the way we now read and apply this song? Could seeing where these words fall in the Bible make a difference in whether we use the Word of God to express the Spirit of our Teacher and God today?