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Cries from the heart – The Psalms reimagined

I invite you to make use of these reimagined Psalms both in your own personal prayer time and in meetings or services. If you do so, I would be grateful for the appropriate acknowledgement.

In reimagining the Psalms, I have looked to retain the style that is seen in the English translation and in the original ie with no rhyming and no standard sentence length or metre. I have worked within the verse structures so that the reader can seen what I have read into the original text.

I have also given considerable thought to the representation of the gender of God in these reimagined Psalms. The Psalms exclusively use the pronoun he to refer to God. This has presented me with a challenge, is the male representation of God merely a metaphor as with the words rock, shepherd etc, which I have chosen to reimagine, or is God, in fact, male? I have come to the conclusion that God is neither male nor female – that the bible is using a metaphor or grammatical construct. I do not believe that God has DNA which would determine his biological sex and whilst Genesis is clear that God made humans in his image, it is also clear that he made males and females.

The next challenge was how to represent this in the reimagined Psalms. I toyed with the idea of representing God in some Psalms as male and some as female but have chosen in the end to give the reader the choice and I have offered male and female pronouns in each instance. I do hope that as you read these Psalms you find this helpful and liberating rather than a point of contention.

Psalm 1

  1. If you want to know deep happiness, don’t waste your time listening to the advice of twisted minds, or joining in the chatter of devious hearts, or laughing at the humour of those who devalue everything of worth.
  1. The Lord’s presence is with the person who takes great pleasure in thinking about his / her thoughts and words, every hour of the day and night.
  2. They are like a tree rooted by a flowing stream – they are evergreen and produce plentiful fruit at the right time.
  3. In contrast, those whose hearts are set on wrong are like dying autumn leaves, blown around by gusts of wind.  
  4. It is clear how their lives will be assessed – in life they avoided being linked to the Lord and his / her followers, so their future will be separate too. 
  5. The Lord stays close to coach his / her followers but those who do not want him / her will find their own destination. 

© 2020 Andrew W. Kearns  All Rights Reserved

Psalm 2

  1. Why are there conflicts between the nations?  Why do leaders waste time on creating futile plans?
  2. Why does it seem as though anger and hostility is never far from their minds?  They take every opportunity to oppose the Lord’s plan for unity and wholeness.
  3. “I am free to lead as I choose,” they say. “I am not answerable to anyone but myself.”
  1. But the Boss, who leads everything, laughs at their arrogance.
  2. He / she reprimands them for their actions and demonstrates his / her frustration.
  3. The Lord makes an announcement, “I have chosen Jesus to be the leader over all people and I have given him the authority he needs.”
  1. The Lord’s chosen leader confirms his appointment, “When the Lord chose me he / she said, ‘you are my son and I will love you as your father / mother.  
  2. When you are ready, I will give you responsibility to lead the whole earth and all the peoples.
  3. You will smash the rule of those who oppress and abuse the people, once and for all.’”
  1. So, you who are leaders of the nations, take this warning and be wise to where your power comes from.
  2. Take your leadership from the Lord, have respect for his / her authority and learn to be content with his / her approach.
  3. Accept Jesus, the Lord’s chosen one, as your leader, or the Lord may become frustrated and remove you from your position in the middle of your term.  Real satisfaction comes in leading under the Lord’s guidance.

© 2020 Andrew W. Kearns  All Rights Reserved

Psalm 3

David wrote this Psalm when fleeing from his own son Absalom who had usurped the throne.

  1. I have so many enemies.  Everywhere I turn they surround me.
  2. They are even saying “your Creator has abandoned you.”

PAUSE

  1. But you Lord, have never left me.  You are always close and reassure me of your confidence in me.
  1. I pleaded with the Lord for help and he / she dropped what he / she was doing and came to support me.

PAUSE

  1. I was so tired I had to sleep where I was but when I woke up I was well rested because you had been with me, Lord.
  2. I do not care how many people oppose me or how boxed in I feel, when I know that you are with me.
  1. Get up Lord and deliver me, my Creator.  Deal a knockout blow to my enemies.  Cut off their power.
  2. You will defeat all evil, Lord.  May you give life and support to all your followers.

PAUSE

© 2020 Andrew W. Kearns  All Rights Reserved

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