Book Review: Meet Yourself In The Pslams

Meet Yourself In The Psalms, by Warren W. Wiersbe

From time to time I enjoy reading and writing about the psalms [1], and this is definitely a book that I found to be interesting.  It is a short book and was a very quick read, but there was still a great deal that I found enjoyable about the book even if the author’s selection of the psalms was very partial indeed.  The Psalms are a tricky book to write about, because on the one hand many of them seem very familiar to us, but on the other hand they are not as familiar to us as we often may imagine them.  A balanced view of the psalms would suggest that they were public songs of worship that indicated the full range of acceptable approaches that one could have to God.  That said, the author takes the viewpoint that the psalms are private and that one can easily find oneself in them, and as that is certainly an acceptable approach to viewing them for one’s private devotions, I will not fault the book on appealing to that large reading audience of people who use the psalms for personal devotions and know little of their communal importance.

At under 150 pages, this book manages to give striking looks at thirteen of the 150 psalms in scripture in twelve chapters.  The author takes these psalms in no particular order, starting with Psalm 145 and its injunction to praise the Lord, and then moving on to a look at Psalm 115 and its reminder that God’s not dead as well as a look at Psalm 73 and the interesting theological problem of good things happening to bad people.  Psalm 126 gives a reminder of the difficulty of finding happiness under heaven while Psalm 32 encourages us to come clean about our sins and avoid living a lie and the chapter on Psalms 42 and 43 encourage us to look in hope towards God and not remain focused on ourselves.  Psalm 22 looks at the context of Jesus’ prayer to the Eternal, Psalm 71 is approached from the viewpoint of a mid-life crisis, and Psalm 2 looks at God’s derisive laughter at the plans and schemes of the wicked.  The book then closes with chapters on Psalm 27 as reflecting a singing soldier, Psalm 8’s question about the place of man in the universe as life’s second most important question, and Psalm 139 reflecting a look at wonder.  Together the book is a short one that gives the reader a fair amount to think about when it comes to the content and approach of the psalms.

Obviously, this book does not pretend to give a look at the psalms as a whole, and there are clearly some aspects of the Psalms, like imprecatory psalms, that the author does not cover in great detail even though these would be an interesting area for contemporary readers to ponder in light of our neglect of these psalms (see, for example, Psalm 137).  Even so, this book provides enough material that someone who wants to look at the psalms will find in this book encouragement to think about the perspective of the psalmist and the way in which these psalms were recorded in scripture and were cited by later biblical authors.  There are clearly a lot of psalms that the author has not covered where the reader may find themselves as well, whether it is in the gloominess of Psalm 88, or the devotion to God’s law expressed in Psalm 119, or in the steadfast acceptance of the blows that one will take from the righteous expressed in Psalm 141.  This book may be considered as an entrance into the Psalms rather than a thorough exploration of them, but even an appetizer of the psalms is something to enjoy and appreciate.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/08/31/book-review-everymans-bible-commentary-volume-1-psalms-1-21/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/03/17/book-review-garden-psalms/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/07/13/book-review-psalmist-i-am/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/11/18/an-introduction-to-the-psalms-commentary-project/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Biblical History, Book Reviews, Christianity, History, Music History, Psalms and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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