Psalms Remixed #1: Introduction


This new series is based on a worship exercise conducted during life group recently, where we rewrote Psalms of our choosing.

  1. Psalms Remixed #1: Introduction (this article)
  2. Psalms Remixed #2: Psalm 8
  3. Psalms Remixed #3: Psalm 19
  4. Psalms Remixed #4: Psalm 23 (Remix #1)
  5. Psalms Remixed #5: Psalm 23 (Remix #2)
  6. Psalms Remixed #6: Psalm 37:3-4
  7. Psalms Remixed #7: Psalm 42
  8. Psalms Remixed #8: Psalm 63
  9. Psalms Remixed #9: Psalm 91
  10. Psalms Remixed #10: Psalm 107:1-8
  11. Psalms Remixed #11: Psalm 112:1-10
  12. Psalms Remixed #12: Psalm 123:1-4

Many people have called the Book of Psalms the “prayer book of the Bible” and the “songbook of the Bible.” The psalms cover the full range of human emotion through prayers, cries, questions, laments and praises to God – in stark contrast to the limited range of expression in many church worship services today. In the Psalms we find encouragement in the midst of anger, hurt, fear and confusion, as well as joy, faith and hope. The point of re-writing a psalm isn’t to compose a masterpiece for you or others to sing, but to give voice to your joy and pain. In this way, it becomes a personal testimony, and its validity doesn’t depend on how skillfully you write.

The Psalms are the prayer-book of our forefathers in faith; the deepest longings of the heart expressed; nothing is held back. They invoke and express the intimacy which God offers us. In entering into that intimacy, grief is transformed into trust, fear is transformed into faith, joy is shared, contentment fostered, and praise is unleashed. The corporate recitation or prayer of a psalm can knit people to God and each other. In this way, the intrinsic structure of Psalms is important to appreciate since there are Psalms covering all different aspects of personal or corporate worship, reflection, and thanksgiving.

The following is a repeat from my previous article on Psalms 37:5 and reminds of the unique literary genre that Psalms constitutes within the Bible – a form of poetry, hymn or song written in worship of God. The collection of 150 Psalms are grouped into five distinct sections, each book-ended by a benediction:

  1. Book 1 (Psalms 1–41)
  2. Book 2 (Psalms 42–72)
  3. Book 3 (Psalms 73–89)
  4. Book 4 (Psalms 90–106)
  5. Book 5 (Psalms 107–150)

Instead of a traditional literary contextualisation for the Psalms, a German Old Testament scholar by the name of Hermann Gunkel wrote a book: The Psalms: A Form-Critical Introduction in 1926. He identified five types for grouping Psalms, which this time we will merge with the work of Joachim Begrich, who had a slightly better classification system.

  1. Hymns
    1. General
    2. Songs of Zion
    3. Yahweh’s Enthronement
  2. Laments/Complaints
    1. Communal
    2. Individual
      1. General
      2. Protesting Innocence
      3. Confession
      4. Cursing & Vengeance
      5. Trust
  3. Royal Psalms
  4. Thanksgiving
    1. Individual
    2. Communal
  5. Wisdom

The following list of Psalms were selected and rewritten by members of my life-group and along with their composition, each individual Psalm will be analysed according to the same literary context/technique that the Memory Verses writing series followed in 2015.

  1. Psalm 8
  2. Psalm 19
  3. Psalm 23 (Remix #1)
  4. Psalm 23 (Remix #2)
  5. Psalm 37:3-4
  6. Psalm 42
  7. Psalm 63
  8. Psalm 91
  9. Psalm 107:1-8
  10. Psalm 112:1-10
  11. Psalm 123:1-4