“Even my closest friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” – Psalm 41From David
Why isn’t the Bible a handbook or a reference book? Why can’t I just look up a word and find the answer I am looking for? Why is it a sometimes repetitive story, following an unimpressive people who keep making mistakes, rebelling and failing? Part of the reason is that their experience of following God resonates with ours. There is a richness both of light and dark to their lives of faith that we see in our own.
The words above from Psalm 41 are applied to Jesus in the meal before his death. They speak of faith in the midst of the experience of betrayal. But what I am most struck by, is the fact that they are a song. A song to be sung by God’s people. When you read through the song book of the Bible, it is hard not to think that our present music is very two dimensional. Where do we have, in the context of worship, the opportunity to sing of our struggles and fears? There are a few examples, but not as many as in the psalms.
It is why reading through a psalm a day for the rest of our lives is a fruitful exercise. At times they won’t chime with our experience, but by working through them, when our experience changes, we will know a psalm that begins to speak to it. I like to listen to music which expresses the struggle and pain of following Jesus. Here’s a link to one that pulls on my heart. It won’t be everyone’s (anyone’s!) cup of tea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qqrmwoWvEc