How important is the concept of historical sanctions in the Psalms?

The book of Psalms is the longest book in the bible.  This collection of praises, is an important account that has established foundations in modern day Christian beliefs.  The concept of historical sanctions is a re-occurring theme throughout the Psalms.

When reading the text, there is a noticeable poetic aspect.  It is easy to think of this as a book of poetic praises, and not challenge the thought of the meaning and representation of these Psalms. However, this book delivers an important literary concept between God and man.

An obvious theme, is that God is above history, and those that obey the law of God are protected and delivered in history.  The righteous found favor in God’s judgment, while the acts of the wicked were despised by God.  God inflicted historical sanctions based on the obedience of man towards God.

As for the righteous, their faith in God was their shield in times of despair.  The righteous received protection and deliverance, while the wicked, received negative reward from the hand of God.  With the idea of God as the ultimate being, sovereign over all things, this is a very logical concept, basic to most ideas of religeon.

From simply reading the Psalms, it is not obvious what historical events are taking place, it was not really intended to be a historical account.  The historical importance taken from the book of Psalms, is the foundational relationship between God and man; how men were delivered in history because of their faith.  A portion of these Psalms were written by David, who was a significant historical figure.  His accounts were in relation to his faith and praises in God, and how God supported him in times of despair, and how God rewarded the obedience of David.

The theme of God being ultimate justice, was basic to this collection of writings.  The God of Israel is all merciful, but He is also all just.  The righteous who obey the law of God, will desire his judgement, as they are inflicted positive sanctions.  The wicked, who see themselves as beyond the requirement to obey God’s laws, will be inflicted with negative sanctions.   God is predictable and reliable in history if man will turn to him and pray to him and humble themselves before him.

The interpretation of this form of biblical language can be dangerous, as several different meanings could be derived from it.  The author could mean something, completely different from what scholars, or any individual who later reads it, interprets from the text.  In the Psalms, there is a lot of imagery used, and it is often odd to modern language.  In this scenario, it is easy to derive a meaning, and take it to heart, but it is important to be cautious in doing this, that we do not interpret a different meaning.

In conclusion, historical sanctions were majorly significant in the Psalms.  The concept of God’s judgement is based on sanctions.  Men with bad ethics, received negative sanctions, and were deprived from protection and deliverance in history.

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