Glen B Smith
To:Lou Newton

Sep 30 at 3:47 PM

If you've been crying?

Lou regularly posts the topic "Pretty Good Quotes" under the forum "Classics of the Christian Faith." The quotes that follow are truly classics from the Book of Psalms and are far better than just "pretty good quotes." I appreciate Lou posting them as "pretty good" which might imply he has some reservations. To understand why these are much better than "pretty good," back up twenty-five hundred years.

All but just a few scholars of the ancient world ever handled or read any kind of scroll. Jewish men were able to read a small portion of the Old Testament during synagogue worship. The canonical collection of the Hebrew scriptures is known by the Jewish people as the Tanakh or sometimes the Mikra. The knowledge of the Tanakh was received mainly through hearing it read, recited, or through song. The quotes in the New Testament of the Tanakh were probably recorded from memory rather than from copying a scroll. The very accurate and precise handing down of oral traditions in the ancient world is very well documented among primitive societies and keepers of the oral traditions today.

Twenty-five hundred years ago there were few distractions and competitors for people's attention. This list of distractions effecting modern people did not exist for the ancients: retail department stores, grocery stores, super markets, cell phones, internet, computers, streaming, broadcasting, newspapers, television, radio, telephone, telegraph, automobiles, airplanes, motor power, printing press, magazines, books, or knowledge of the world and its peoples beyond one's own geographical limits. Repeating the oral tradition filled in the time between the end of the day and sleeping. This oral tradition relied heavily on rhythm and song.

Think for a moment of the numerous songs modern people can recall. After the first bar of music the words return without any effort. Obviously, this remembering accurately through using songs has been practiced throughout each generation of our ancestors. It could be supposed that in the ancient Jewish world there would have been thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people who could sing all one hundred and fifty of the Psalms. Much like modern singers, the ancients would have had an extensive repertoire and starting in childhood, everyone sung them.

Accordingly, when suggesting the following quotes from the divinely inspired Book of Psalms are much better than "pretty good," no one should be offended.

The Book of Psalms comforts in times of grief and loss, and in suffering and afflictions.

The following inspired lyrics are suggested,


Psalm 23:1-4 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 25:16-17 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.

Psalm 32:7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

Psalm 34:19 Many adversities come to the one who is righteous, but the Lord delivers him from them all.

Psalm 42:5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 56:3 But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:13 For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light.

Psalm 59:16 But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.

Psalm 62:5-8 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Psalm 86:1-7 Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.

Protect me, for I am devoted to you. Save me, for I serve you and trust you. You are my God.

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on you constantly. Give me happiness, O Lord, for I give myself to you.

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

Listen closely to my prayer, O Lord; hear my urgent cry.

I will call to you whenever I’m in trouble, and you will answer me.

Psalm 91:1-4 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Psalm 103:15-17 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—

Psalm 116:1-7 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow.

Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.

Psalm 118:5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Aside from the old scribe.

The Book of Psalms might be thought of as Jewish hillbilly music.

30 September 2019