Liturgical Introductions to the Psalms

What was it like to be a member of the OT church? What did they believe? What was their experience of God, personally and corporately? Did their religion make them happy or was it a burden? Were they aliens in another age or our brothers and sisters of long ago? As we look through the window of the Psalms we discover that here indeed is the same God, now disclosed to us in Christ, and here are people of the same nature as ourselves facing the same kind of life as we and finding that their God enhances their joys and bears their burdens.
Their commitment, prayerfulness, zeal, knowledge and delight rebuke our hesitancies, unwillingness to pray, and cool responses. But they are our brothers and sisters. Their songs show us that just as in the NT God’s grace prompts obedience to God’s law, so in the OT obedience to God’s law rests on his work of grace. But what a people of song they were! Great leaders like Moses (Ex. 15), Deborah and Barak (Jdg. 5), David (2 Sa. 2) and prophets like Habakkuk (Hab. 3) marked their significant moments in song. The Psalms themselves reveal a religion overflowing in song. No wonder that from such people and such a religion this great anthology of psalmody should have emerged! (“The Psalms,” 485), Alec Motyer (1924-2016)