The Anatomy of the Soul

John Calvin called the psalms the “anatomy of the soul.” He recognized that the diversity of the psalms correlated to the diversity of seasons, experiences, and emotions of the soul. The psalms are our voice as we walk the journey of faith. They give expression to the things deep within our souls that we struggle to communicate. Whether we are overwhelmed with sorrow or bursting with joy the psalms enable us to come before God with appropriate expressions of faith. This, along with other things, makes the book of Psalms quite refreshing.

The book of Psalms is a unique piece of Scripture. It is God’s address to us about addressing him. The book is a collection of prayers and songs directed to Yahweh. But this collection is itself the word of God. A book of Spirit-inspired songs and prayers. The Spirit of God enabling the worship of God the Father. In the psalms God honors and exalts God in and through Israel. We learn that worship is a God-given, God-inspired, God-instructed, and God-aided activity. God has given us the psalms of lament, imprecation, thanksgiving, and celebration. He has given us a voice to engage him no matter what comes our way.

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