BOOK REVIEW ON “THE MESSAGE OF THE PSALMS”

BOOK REVIEW ON “THE MESSAGE OF THE PSALMS”

Brueggeman, Walter. The Message of the Psalms: a theological commentary. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1985. $19.00/-

“The Message of the Psalms” talks about the different nature of Psalms such as songs of creation, law and retribution and occasion of well-being, personal lament, communal laments, thanksgiving songs, future king, and hymns of praise. The theological and critical study of Psalm and its application in our life and ministry of expressing faith in the time of great suffering and a good time is the main idea of this book. The scheme of orientation to disorientation to a new orientation in Psalm shows the Psalter’s emotion and reaction according to the different kinds of situations towards God that equally or relatively corresponds with the study of the Messianic Psalm. It reminds us to be acquainted with the message from the life of Christ and his suffering ministry. As the Psalms in the Old Testament were expressed by Psalters by their dissatisfaction, complaint, and negativity, the author emphasized that their expression were led by the hope and faith in Yahweh. Thus, the psalters were not living their life without hope and faith but even in the time of great persecution, they acknowledged as punishment from God because of their sin. This perspective provided the light of hope and faith even in such misery time of the Psalters.

In this way, the Psalters were led to the new orientation that Pastoral use of the Psalm for the ministry among common believers in Church will be very helpful. In the case of Theodicy, persecuted Christians will always cite these verses and meditate the deepness of its teaching in their life. This book has helped us to enlighten the hidden and unspoken truth and meaning of many Psalms in which Mr. Brueggemann has researched and done very hard work. The main strength of this book is its success to address the Christians of the present age from the teaching of the Old Testament’s Psalm.

Probably, a person might not have faced the integral suffering and problems in his life as mentioned in this book. In such a case, they may understand the concept of theodicy partially but that will also provide the opportunity for a believer to be ready for upcoming problems in his life.

The author has done very hard work to make clear the teaching of Psalm but this book has missed some part of the application of faith and action at the time of suffering according to the Nepalese context. Since, the contents and context of the Psalm are summarized into the three stages of life and emotion of a person as orientation, disorientation, and new orientation. However, the author had much opportunity to add more content in the case of continuous disorientation and the sad ending of life.

The teaching of this book applies to the many kinds of people in our society. As David and his communion shared their prayer as communal lament and praise, there are a lot of Christian ministers in the Churches of Nepal who have an opportunity to submit their prayer in the community. This interpretation of the community praise and worship, as well as a lament in this book, provided the unique insight of praise and lamentation to the Nepalese Christian community.

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