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The Psalms

By R. J. Rushdoony
January 01, 1999

I feel sorry for those who have not made, apart from other readings in the Bible, the Psalms their constant reading and companion. Psalm 1 begins (vv. 1-2) by declaring blessed the man whose "delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doeth he meditate day and night." Our lives, we are told, depend on this, and our prospering in the Lord.

Because we live in a sinful world, we shall face no light adversities for our stand, but God knows us and guides us to the end. Because we are known of the Lord, we share in his victory over the forces of darkness.

The Psalms are good bedtime reading and meditating: "commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still" (Ps. 4:4). The peace of such meditation gives strength to all our days.

The writers of the Psalms did not lack troubles and persecution, but they came out victorious because they were allied to God who is the victory.

Why then neglect the Psalms? What other reason can there be other than a sinful laziness? When we know the grace so readily given by the Lord, to neglect it becomes sinfulness itself.

I grew up as a member of a poor and much persecuted people, and yet a happy one. The Psalms were often on their lips and crept into everyday speech in their early years in the United States. Prosperity tended in some to do what persecution could not.

The Psalms were written by men living like us in a fallen world, and they thus speak to us also. For years, I dreamed of writing a book on some of the neglected Psalms, but now I am too old to think of it.

I can, however, speak of the joy, peace, and strength they have given me, and how, in the trying days of my life, I turn to them to hear God speak to me as my Shepherd and to know therefore that I shall not want (Ps. 23:1). In this century, we have gone from being a country where every school child knew Psalm 23 by heart to one in which few do today. We are the poorer for it.

We can begin to change the world by changing ourselves. Begin reading the Psalms tonight.


Topics: Poetry & Wisdom Literature

R. J. Rushdoony

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965. His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.” He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

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