Sometimes as we read the words in the Bible, we feel a disconnect with what is written here. It’s as if the words that are there don’t really feel a part of our lives today. Yet, the Bible is the main avenue that God has chosen to speak to us at this time. How do we make those two ideas reconcile?
In Speak, Lord: Hearing Psalms in the First Person, Vic Black proposes a fun and potentially in-depth way to study the Psalms. He suggests that if you want to hear from God, you should try rewriting the Psalms as if God is speaking directly to you. He lays down lots of guide rules, such as your interpretation has to agree with scripture, use the cross-references, reading multiple translations, etc. Yet through it all, the potential for a fresh way of viewing the psalm devotionally is still there.
To aid you on your journey, Black provides many examples along the way. Each chapter is its own example of one psalm that Black has done this with. The chapters follow a predictable pattern: the text of the psalm, an explanation on the meaning or the background of the psalm, the psalm re-written in Black’s first-person style, some reflections on his rewriting, and questions and prompts to guide you along the way of rewriting this psalm for yourself.
I am a huge fan of allowing God’s word to speak to you through just the studies of the scripture. Love the idea of using cross-references and parallel passages to help interpret a passage of scripture. I firmly believe that God’s word is living and has the ability to speak to an individual in a powerful, devotional way. I also love the guided prompts for writing through scripture. I feel like he gives you enough guidance to keep you from making major errors in interpretation due to ignorance. This is a volume that is going to stay on my shelf for further use and study for a long time.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of an honest review.