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Addison Street Community Church

The Psalms: Poetry for Life

You may not be the reading or singing type, but you probably know a few rhymes or two. Some of your favorite songs are likely lodged in your skull partly due to the sheer poetics of the words. The songwriters succeeded then! Poetry has that dazzling effect of capturing our senses unlike other types of writing. Did you know that God used poetry as a form of communicating his eternal Word to his people? This Sunday, we'll resume the books of wisdom or poetry.

There may be several other reasons, but here are some starters for why God's people need Biblical poetry:

  1. It's God's Word. He unfolds his truth in various forms. Though his speech is far above ours, he used human beings to communicate normally and humanly.
  2. It says truth differently. Just look at, for example, the story of Deborah and Barak in Judges 4 and read it in poetic form in Judges 5. Other examples abound.
  3. It says truth compactly. Poetry has a way of packing a punch that prose typically doesn't do.
  4. It says truth memorably. It uses images that we are familiar with and is written in such a style that is easier to digest and remember.
  5. It speaks truth rhythmically. You can actually feel the horses galloping in the prophecy of Nahum (though that rhythm is lost to us a bit in English). Hebrew poetry has meter and rhyme, too.
  6. It pulls us to God's life more intimately. Sure, there are raw human emotions to be had in the poetry, but biblical poetry means to get us much more familiar and in love with God.
  7. One of the net effects of spending time reading the Bible's poetical sections is that you'll be wiser.

For even more reasons, have a listen as Pastor Will talks through the book of Psalms.

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