We’ve been studying the Psalms for our Old Testament exegesis course this semester. (Hence my vested interest in speaking on the Psalms for the Indigo retreat!) For my essay, I looked at the question ‘What is God’s attitude to the nations in the Psalms?’
I found it a difficult essay to write. First, the Psalter is quite a large primary source! Second, while lots of people have written on the psalms, not much of that is on mission. Third, what is there has taken the approach of looking at individual psalms rather than the book as a whole. So it was difficult to work out where to start. In the end, I decided to take three angles:
- Sketch the common themes by a quick overview of all the passages that relate to the nations in the psalms
- Look for patterns in these themes across the book of Psalms as a whole
- Explore individual psalms that give a more sustained treatment to the nations
The stuff that is around on the nations in the psalms is mainly written by missionaries. They note how many times the nations are called to praise God but I was surprised to learn that that’s a pretty selective reading of the Psalms!
I’ll be blogging through what I learnt over the next little while, starting first of all with a post about how to read the Psalms.
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.