The Psalms the Heart of the Bible -- RPCNA

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RPCNA, Witness Committee, The Psalms the Heart of the Bible (1920)

The Bible is the hope of the world. It teaches us, as do all His works, that God is love. This love is a passion. Men give to Jesus a Passion Week. He took to Himself a passion life. No love is of worth if less than that.

Passion, of whatever sort, finds its expression in song. The passion of God finds expression in the Psalms.

The folk songs of the Negro tell the tragedy of his life. So has it been with the folk songs of every people. So is it also with the Psalms. They tell of the tragedy, the joy, the sorrow, the defeats and the triumphs of Hebrew life.

But this is not alone true of the life of the Hebrews. The Psalms do much more than that. They give the record of achievement of each race that has reached its promised land. For each people has been in Egypt, each must face the Wilderness, and each must have the leadership of Him who was in the fire and the cloud, if they are ever to reach the land of Canaan. The Psalms are typical and universal.

Also do the Psalms include personal experience, so varied that it touches and expresses all the life of the soul. There is no depth the writers of the Psalms have not sounded, no height they have not climbed. They are personal. They are national. And through all these experiences of individuals and nations, expressing everywhere the inner soul, runs the gulf stream of praise to God, who makes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him.

These Psalms God put in the heart of the Bible. They are buttressed on one side by History and the Law. They are supported on the other by Prophecy and the Gospel.

One who finds his heart in the Psalms is at the heart of the Bible and the heart of God.

We need to give these songs the place that God gives to them. Few individuals, and few churches have been vexed with destructive views of the Bible that had not first lost their devotion to the Psalms. Astruc and his German compatriots made their attacks on the Bible long ago. But it does not appear that these did their deadly work in any church, or in any land where the people sang the Psalms in worship. Germany seldom used the Psalms in praise.

When Christian in Bunyan's allegory lost his roll, he had to go back to the place where he had lost it before he could go forward to the city of his dreams. May it not be so with the Bible roll which so many have lost? They must go to the side of the hill where they slept, where they began to put the songs of men to men, in place of inspired songs of God for men.

This is a fact that the Fundamentalists need to learn, and having learned, to heed. The Bible is a unity; the Psalms are its heart. The Psalms must be put back in the praise service to save the Bible. We must take God's Word on God's terms. One part of the Bible tells us of national salvation. Another tells us how the individual is to be saved. Another tells how to glorify Him in worship. We can enjoy Him only as we glorify Him. We cannot reverse the divine order.

The Covenanter Church fulfills her task in regard to the Psalms when she gives a wholehearted witness for them as the only songs given to us of God by which to worship Him. We do not have to win a place for them. This is the work of God. He wins. We witness. That is the appointed way.

"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony."—Rev 12:11
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