NOTE: All 150 psalms were translated into English in Metre by 1562, nearly 50 years before the King James Version of the Bible was published in 1611! The psalms were written as Hebrew poetry and were meant to be sung or read aloud.* However, translating poetry from one language to another typically loses much if not all of the poetic attributes! However, there were several groups of people who endeavored to translate the psalms into a type of poetry typical for the English language hundreds of years ago. If you have not yet encountered the psalms in metre (psalter), you are in for a treat. We read (and softly sung) all 150 psalms in a downtown coffeeshop this year using the Scottish Psalter. Since music is a significant part of you Lindsey, you may find yourself singing them with a tune you make up on the spot based on the rhythmic beat to the verses. I hope the prayer this day blesses you in this.
Heavenly Father. I glorify you and praise you. I look around at the beauty of snow, where just one snow flake is a masterpiece work of art. A man we now call Snowflake Bentley** spent years of his life, freezing and cold, just to catch a snowflake and then to photograph it. This amazing look at snow flakes has been collected into a sizable book, a gallery of beauty, a look at a tiny bit of the vast beauty you placed everywhere around us. Thank you for letting me see these bits of your beauty. And thank you for the Scripture which I am to use to pray over the daughter you delight in, whose beauty is a dim reflection of Christ:
Psalm 18 (my favorite psalm) from the Psalter of 1562 (read it aloud emphasizing every other syllable … you can even add intonation while you read it or even sing it!):
1 O God, my strength and fortitude, of force I must love thee; Thou art my castle and defense in my necessity: 2 My God, my rock, in whom I trust, the worker of my wealth; My refuge, buckler, and my shield, the horn of all my health. 3 When I sing laud unto the Lord, most worthy to be served; Then from my foes I am right sure that I shall be preserved. 4 The pangs of death did compass me, and bound me ev'ry where; The flowing waves of wickedness did put me in great fear. 5 The sly and subtle snares of hell were round about me set; And for my life there was prepared a deadly trapping net. 6 I thus beset with pain and grief, did pray to God for grace; And he forthwith heard my complaint out of his holy place. 7 Such is his pow'r, that in his wrath he made the earth to quake. Yea, the foundation of the mount of Bashan for to shake: 8 And from his nostrils went a smoke, when kindled was his ire, And from his month went burning coals of hot consuming fire. 9 The Lord descended from above, and bowed the heav'ns most high; And underneath his feet he cast the darkness of the sky: 10 On Cherubs and on Cherubims full royally he rode, an on the wings of mighty winds came flying all abroad. The Second Part. 11 And like a den most dark he made his hid and secret place; With waters black and airy clouds encompassed he was. 12 At his bright presence did thick clouds in haste away retire; And in the stead thereof did come hail-stones and coals of fire. 13 The fiery darts and thunderbolts disperse them here and there; And with his frequent lightnings he doth put them in great fear. 14 When thou, O Lord, with great rebuke thy anger dost declare, The springs and the foundations of the world discovered are. 15 And from above the Lord sent down to fetch me from below, And plucked me out of waters great, that would me overflow: 16 And me delivered from my foes that sought me to enthrall; Yea, from such foes as were too strong for me to deal withal. 17 They did prevent me evermore in time of my great grief; But yet the Lord is my defense, my succor and relief. 18 He brought me forth in open place, that so I might be free; And kept me safe, because he had a favor unto me. 19 According to my innocence, so did he me regard; And to the cleanness of my hands he gave me my reward: 20 For that I walk-ed in his ways, and in his paths have trod, And not departed wickedly from him that is my God. The Third Part. 21 But evermore I have respect to his law and decree; His statutes and commandments I cast not away from me: 22 But pure and clean, and uncorrupt, appeared before his face, And did refrain from wickedness and sin in ev'ry case. 23 The Lord will therefore me reward, as I have done aright; As to the cleanness of my hands appearing in his sight. 24 For, Lord, with him that holy is wilt thou be holy too; And with the good and virtuous man thou wilt uprightly do: 25 And for the loving and elect thy favor wilt reserve; And thou wilt use the wicked men as wicked men deserve. 26 For thou dost save the simple folk, in trouble when they lie; And dost bring down the countenance of them that look full high. 27 The Lord will light my candle so, that it shall shine full bright; The Lord my God will make also my darkness to be light. 28 For by thy help an host of men discomfit. Lord, I shall; By thee I scale and overleap the strength of any wall. 29 Unspotted are the ways of God, his word is purely tried; He is a sure defense to such as in his faith abide. 30 For who is God, except the Lord ! for other there is none: Or else who is omnipotent, saving our God alone. The Fourth Part. 31 The God that girdeth me with strength, is he that I do mean; That all the ways wherein I walk, did evermore keep clean: 32 That made my feet like to the harts' in swiftness of my pace, And for my safety brought me forth into an open place. 33 He did in order put my hands in battle for to fight; To break in sunder bars of brass he gave my arms the might. 34 Thou teachest me thy saving health, thy right hand is my tow'r; Thy love and gentleness also doth still increase my pow'r. 35 And under me thou makest plain the way where I should go; So that my feet shall never slip, · nor wander to and fro: 36 And fiercely I pursue and take my foes that me annoyed, And from the field do not return till they be all destroyed. 37 So I suppress and wound my foes, that they can rise no more; For underneath my feet they fail, I wound them all so sore. 38 For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle, and Thou wilt throw down my enemies that do against me stand. 39 Lord, thou hast given me the necks of all my enemies; That so I might destroy all those that up against me rise. 40 They called for help, but none gave ear, nor came to their relief; Yea, to the Lord they called for aid, yet heard he not their grief. The Fifth Part. 41 And still, like dust before the wind, I drive them under feet, And sweep them out like filthy dirt, that lieth in the street. 42 Thou keep'st me from seditious folk that still in strife are led; And thou dost of the heathen folk appoint me to be head. 43 A people strange, to me unknown, and yet they shall me serve; And at the first obey my word, whereas my own will swerve. 44 I shall be irksome to my own, they will not see my light; But wander wide out of the way, and hide them out of sight. 45 But blessed be the living Lord, most worthy of all praise: He is my rock and saving health, praised be he always. 46 For it is lie that gave me pow'r, reveng-ed for to be; And with his holy word subdued the people unto me. 47 And from my. foe delivered me, and set me over those That cruel and ungodly were, and up against me rose. 48 And for this cause, O Lord my God, to thee give thanks I shall; And sing out praises to thy Name, among the Gentiles all. 49 Deliv'rance great thou giv'st the king, and dost reserve in store Mercy for thine Anointed, and his seed for evermore.
Lord, I am here as usual to pray for Lindsey, your daughter you love, and today seemed like the day to present a psalm interpreted in metre over 450 years ago. Lindsey, I pray that encountering the psalms in metre will bring a whole new light to them for you. May the psalms resonate in your heart the way that the original Hebrew language psalms did centuries ago. I pray that the psalms in metre will excite and thrill you so much that you will want to sing them all as soon as you can (thus I am linking to the online version of them below). I pray that you may find singing the psalms a wonderful way to worship and praise the Lord. And all the glory is his. The glory is all his. I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus, King of kings. Amen
* Theological Studies: Interpreting the Psalms includes this:
B. Understand that the Psalms are Hebrew musical poems and should be interpreted in light of this fact.
1. Most of the Psalms were meant to be sung not read.
** Snowflake Bentley books: