For those who are taking part in the 2014 Bible memory program, we have begun to memorize Psalm 100 for the month of April. Although you may not have memorized the passages for January and February, you can still join in and start with Psalm 100. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll add you to the email list.
One of the reasons why I love the Psalms is because they are worship songs. And like all songs, they address not only the mind but also the heart. The lyrics primarily speak to our minds while the melody and rhythm of the song affects our hearts.
However, the problem we face with the Psalms is that although we have the lyrics of the psalms, we have no idea how they originally sounded. So, as we read through Psalms, we are forced to provide a melody for each of their unique lyrical contents.
How is that melody discovered? Well, it’s revealed in the descriptive lyrics of each psalm. As we read and understand the lyrics, we hear and “feel” the overall mood of the song. Some psalms are dirges while others are songs of victory and praise. The vast arrays of melodies that are represented in the psalms show us that God desires our worship no matter what place we find ourselves in life. They also teach us that we can choose to worship Him no matter how we feel. Whether you’re feeling disillusioned, triumphant, depressed, hopeless, resentful or grateful; He welcomes our worship and meets us where we are.
For Psalm 100, the lyrical contents focus on exuberant praise of God, with exclamations of joy and thanksgiving, for His goodness, for His personal watch care over our wellbeing and for His unending and steadfast love. When you reflect and meditate over this psalm, what melody do you hear? What rhythm from your heart is provided for its lyrics? Can you “feel” or imagine its tune or does its melody escape you?
As I stated before, the words of the Psalms speak to your mind but it's mood or tune speaks to your heart. If you find that you cannot "connect" to the mood/melody of a Psalm, it may be because you do not connect with the "heart" of the psalmist. You can understand what he is saying but you cannot relate to it. If this is true for you, then the next question to ask yourself is "Why not?"
Side note: The purpose of my questions is not to make you feel guilty if you don’t have a joyful and grateful heart for God’s goodness and love. But my hope and aim is to move you closer towards a more intimate and full relationship with our Father.