I GAVE MYSELF THE JOB of teaching a Bible study lesson on Psalms.
A weird idea came to mind.
Try reading some of the psalms to music. Different styles of music.
After all, Psalms is a collection of 150 songs and poems—many of them intended to be sung or read to musical accompaniment.
So I gave the group a handout with the lyrics of several Psalms printed on them.
At first, we read a Psalm and then listened to a song that seemed to reflect the spirit of the Psalm.
We read Psalm 57, which is a praise about God’s unfailing love.
Then we listened to a little of Bon Jovi’s “Thank you for loving me.”
We read Psalm 13, which begins, “Long enough, God—you’ve ignored me long enough.”
Then we listened to “Guarded,” by Disturbed. Brace yourself for that.
My favorite part of the lesson was reading Psalm 23, while playing music as the person read. I asked the reader to try to follow the pace and spirit of the music.
Try it. You will not be disappointed. Unless you hate music.
Read Psalm 23 to Mozart’s Requiem. The lyrics take on a somber tone.
Now read it to the Emperor’s Waltz. You get an entirely different sense. The song feels happy and upbeat.
Here’s the Psalm from the NIRV, so go ahead and read it out loud with the linked music playing in the background. You’ll see what I mean.
The Lord is my shepherd. He gives me everything I need.
He lets me lie down in fields of green grass.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He gives me new strength.
He guides me in the right paths
for the honor of his name.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid.
You are with me.
Your shepherd’s rod and staff
You prepare a feast for me
right in front of my enemies.
You pour oil on my head.
My cup runs over.
I am sure that your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life.
And I will live in the house of the Lord
It was amazing to me how much the music affected the message.
I don’t think I’ll ever be able to teach a lesson on psalms again without using music.