They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither – Ps.1

About the Psalms

‘The psalms are the religious poetry of Israel. The name is derived from the Greek psalterion, which was a string instrument used for accompanying them when they were sung. Amongst their number are hymns of praise, songs of deliverance, and solemn entreaties. Some of them are personal complaints and others national prayers and confessions for past misdemeanours. They mirror the mood of the writer, and by extension speak closely to our condition also. The outer world has changed beyond recognition since the days of the Psalmist (some 2,500 to 3,000 years ago for the majority of the 150 psalms), but human nature remains distressingly immature even though the mind has virtually exploded in scientific brilliance. The writers of the Bible would rub their eyes if they could witness our present civilization, but then they would shake their heads when they saw humans walking around as spiritually uncomprehending as their own brethren…

‘It is uncanny how a particular psalm, or perhaps only a verse or a simple phrase, seems to ‘turn up’ when we are in special need. Such a piece may be prayed, just as we pray the Lord’s Prayer when we are really attentive and do not merely ‘rattle it off’ as part of daily worship. This way of prayer is one of meditating deeply on the words, putting oneself in the position of attention to God, and being quite still. As we enter the depth of the passage, so does God enter more fully into our own depth, which is the soul, or true-self. It is here that our real identity is known, and from it we may speak with personal integrity to God and to our neighbour also…’

Martin Israel, A Light on the Path: An Exploration of Integrity through the Psalms


About the Psalm Tree

Click on the tree image to jump to a psalm at ‘random’. Use the arrows at the foot of the page to go to previous/next psalms or search the index.

The Psalm Tree: a project by Mark Dean
Site design by applekrate
Fractal image source: Curran Kelleher, MIT
Scripture quotations © NRSV courtesy of oremus Bible Browser
Please also visit The Gospel Cloud and Scorpio Rising 2

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning is now and shall be for ever. Amen.