Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Introduction to the Prayer Psalms


The Davidic Psalms are the expression of a priest, prophet and king who knew the Elohim whom he served. His inspired hymns of praise, petition and worship represent the thoughts, yearnings and faith of the entire nation.

The Psalms reflect a full range of discernment and revelation of Elohim’s character and identity, and His responses to a wide range of human emotions and conditions, in this life and beyond.

The Hebrew language, through which Elohim chose to express this divine relationship between His people and Himself, is rich in depth and meaning. The Hebrew script states aspects of His identity more explicitly than anything we have been able to glean from available English translations, beautiful as they may be. Consequently, we have endeavored to provide a rendering of the Psalms, which emphasizes their personal prayerful aspects, as examples of how to relate to Him with language that correctly depicts His nature and our relationship to Him. This was done, chiefly by inserting various Hebrew titles and names of G-d employed elsewhere in the Hebrew Scriptures.

We pray that these revised Psalms will reinforce the identity of our Elohim and grant understanding, encouragement and comfort to the life of the one who puts his faith, hope and trust in Him. Some of you may wonder why the name “Jesus” is not mentioned in the text. It is because we have chosen to use the Messiah’s Hebrew name, which is Yeshua, Y’shua or Yahoshua and means “salvation”.

This name shows up many times in these Prayer Psalms, as Elohey Yeshua’tee (G-d of my Salvation), and was recognized by the apostle Paul as the name that is above all other names of YHVH: “Wherefore YHVH also hath highly exalted him and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Messiah Yeshua is Lord, to the glory of G-d the Father” (Phil. 2:9-11).

This is made possible because “YHVH was in Messiah reconciling the world to Himself” (2 Cor. 5:19); “For it pleased the Father that in Him [Messiah] all the fullness should dwell” (Col. 1:19). And, “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the divine nature bodily” (Col. 2:9). So no matter what name is employed, it will always point to our Heavenly Father and to His Messiah.

These Prayer Psalms do not endeavor to be yet another translation of scripture, but rather have been altered and rearranged to emphasize, as stated above, the importance of the identity of our God and our personal relationship to Him. For the English term LORD (Jehovah) we chose to retain the transliteration of the Hebrew consonants YHVH (Yod, Hey, Vav, Hey). Frankly, the pronunciation of the "ineffable name" or sacred name, the Tetragrammaton, is still a subject of much discussion. We choose to pronounce it Yah-Hoveh, but among the many suggestions, the most common are Yehweh or Yehovah.