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The Book of Books Book Club weekly blog

Psalms 76-150

We finish the Psalms this week, and I'd remind you to look back at last week's blog (below) to remind yourself about how to read these poems in context. I know, they're all beginning to blur and sound alike - skim when you need to, especially when it comes to the nearly-endless Psalm 119 (enjoy its structure in passing, however - it's like a little anthology of its own). Take a moment to focus on the ones listed as essential on the reading schedule. For example, Ps 137 is a stunningly beautiful evocation of the homesickness of exiles and a desire to never forget what matters most, suddenly followed by two particularly vicious verses crying out for revenge for the oppression suffered; this change of mood captures the ways sadness and rage commingle. Psalm 139 contains powerful imagery of the overwhelming presence of God that is sometimes too much to bear, followed by a wonderful series of images of our inability to escape God's love (some of us compare it to the children's classic, The Runaway Bunny!). And Psalm 150 finishes the collection with a lovely sense of the entire creation rising up in a song of praise to the Creator. Powerful stuff here.