From Moses to David, from Solomon to the Exile and beyond, the psalms were used to sing praises to God. In them we encounter vivid memories men had of God’s dealings with Israel as well as with individuals who longed for God, trusted in God and prayed for the destruction of enemies. The psalms were used to confess sins and, in some degree, to express hope in a life after death with God.
The psalms were sung as the Israelites traveled to Jerusalem for temple worship, and years later by early Christians as they gathered in humble homes for prayer and worship.
The importance of the Book of Psalms may be seen in a list of names of those who wrote commentaries on it: Origin, Eusebius, Basil, Chrysostom, Hilary, Ambrose, Athanasius, Theodoret, Augustine and Jerome among the early church Fathers, while among the Reformers are Luther, Mercer, Zwingli and Calvin.
But we become even more aware of the importance of the Book of Psalms when we are reminded of its place in the life of Jesus. He used it as his prayer book, as his hymn book in temple festivals, when he taught, when he refuted Satan during the temptation, when he sang from it at the Last Supper, and when he spoke his last words while on the cross.
It is understandable that the book we call The Psalms is the most read book of the Bible, the most memorized, the most recited in times of joy and sorrow, and the most often put to music to this day.
In this volume James Vasquez has returned to a classic, poetic rendition of the 150 psalms, set in elegant rhyming verse with close attention to rhythm.