The Wisdom of the Psalms
"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." Psalm 52.8
The Psalms, all 150 of them, were written between 800 and 400 BC. In other words they are OLD. And some would ask, what could words written all those years ago say to me here in the 21st century? Valid question. But I have discovered that in reading them on a daily basis, I have gleaned remarkable answers to prayers, affirmation of decisions, greater awareness of the presence of God in my life and many many other truths about a life of faith.
For example, Psalm 52 appointed for today begins with the psalmist lashing out at someone who has offended him mightily, betrayed him and lied about him. Then he calls on God to revenge his betrayal, then he quickly claims the mercy of God forever and ever...but not until he says " but I am like a green olive tree!" The olive is almost as ancient as the psalms, and an olive branch is an archetypal image for peace. The ancient Greeks believed that olive branches represented plenty and drove away evil spirits and an olive branch was one of the attributes of Eirene, the Greek goddess of peace.
If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest reading the psalms on a daily basis. You won't believe how much you have in common with the psalmist and how much comfort you will receive from the psalms!
“The psalmist doesn’t try to explain evil. He doesn’t try to minimize evil. He simply says he will not fear evil. …When somebody takes your hand in the dark, you’re not afraid of the dark anymore.”
—Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark