Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

divinely inspired poetry



Recently I heard someone comment on the art of poetry and express a thought similar to this- Sometimes, perhaps often, the words of poetry convey no information at all. They are merely the sound of overwhelming emotion. The implication was that we may waste our time trying to interpret the words of poetry as we might other writing styles.


I immediately thought of the Psalms in the Bible, so many of which sound like either tirades of grief and anger or songs of joy and devotion. At the same time I recognized that, since these expressions are in the Bible, the highly emotional words are seen as having originated in the mind of God. What really distinguishes the emotional outbursts of the Psalmist from similar words from another human, like you or me?


Whatever answer one may give, there remains the issue of what divine message we should draw from the Psalms. That is especially true of those Psalms calling for God's retribution on those the Psalmist sees as evil. Is God really the arbiter of my ill treatment? Does he operate as the enforcer on the basis of my personal judgment? What did the complaining Psalmist expect from God, and is that what we should expect today?


It may be comforting to view God as a ready stick with which to beat up those others we view as bad, but what makes me the distributer of God's retribution? How did my judgment become divine, in effect? These are difficult and troubling questions which cannot be dismissed if we want to actually seek a divine message in these Psalms.