Psalms and Psychology

2190 WordsMar 14, 20139 Pages
Final Paper: The Psalms and Psychology A main function of the Psalter in our modern church is to show the raw emotion that the writers’ prayers to God embody. Because of the depths of emotion that are present in the Psalms, they help Christians to see the relational aspect of the faith in a different way. In the Psalter, Christians see that God wants us to share our whole being with him; the Psalms show Christians that they can express the diversity of emotions that humans have with God. The study of psychology can be useful in giving further insight to the authors’ minds and how the human element of the authorship effects the Psalter. Looking at the Davidic Psalms, one sees a variety of the emotions and genres; The field of psychology…show more content…
This relates to Psalms of Praise and Thanksgiving in that, in the Davidic Psalms, David gives praise and thanks to God even in the hardest circumstances. In the first book of the Psalter, David is being pursued by Saul, who is trying to kill him. In spite of the hardships David is facing, he gives praise to the Lord. In Psalm 8, David asks God, “what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (NIV Psalms 8:4). David is praising the Lord for even thinking of humans as worthy of his notice. This is during a time in David’s life where he was promised that he would be king, but instead, he is being chased by Saul and forced to live in the wilderness. It is impossible that David was never angry with God or felt abandoned as he lived in fear of Saul’s wrath. David writes these Psalms not just to express his praise when he is feeling it, but also as a way of solidifying this knowledge in his mind so that it will affect his thoughts and actions in the times to come when he doubts God’s faithfulness. In this way, David uses language to influence how he thinks and acts in relation to God. This can be seen in some Lament Psalms as well. In Psalm 22, we see David crying out to God for help because he feels abandoned, but the Psalm ends with an affirmation of God’s love and power. David is using language to alter his thoughts and emotional state by remembering the character of God. We see this evidenced
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