Main types of psalms are praising, teaching, and lamentation psalms. There are quite a lot of Psalms of Lamentation in the Psalter. Its specific concerns and interests are people who are not afraid to talk about their failures and weaknesses, problems and doubts before God and before people.
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Even in the Psalm of Lamentation, praise remains the central theme. The Psalm 1 shows the path of faith and hope: from weeping to praise. When David came to Szekelag, he found that the city was burned with fire. David and his soldiers “wept until they had no strength to weep” (Pss. 2:1)1. David was perplexed and it was only after a while that he “was strengthened in the hope of the Lord his God” (Pss. 2:3)2. The transition from weeping to praise and faith is the right path, and the Psalms speak of it.
The genre of lamentation is related to the position taken by the Psalter, as it is an example of opening the whole heart to God in prayer. Psalm-lament shows how to come to this primary goal, indicated in the Psalter. This can only be done by relying on the Word of God, on His revelation and promises, which is what is said in the lamentation Psalms.
However, the lament genre does not entirely coincide with the position taken by the Psalter in the absence of movement. Time has stopped, and there is no appeal to God with a specific request3. Such lamentation psalms are also very important to read and analyze as they describe situations without the prospect of a quick release and resolution.
Hello, Oliver! Thank you for your detailed and intelligible post; your Psalms interpretation is straightforward to understand. You have managed to understand and uncover the metaphors used in the text, and I agree with your explanation. Just as a tree that grows with water has constant moisture for its development. Therefore, it is fruitful, so “in everything that he does, he will have fruits”4 since God protects him (Pss 1:3). In addition, you have noted another important technique – the juxtaposition of the righteous and the wicked. You have brilliantly managed to establish a connection between the genre of lamentation and the psalms in your post.
King, David. The Book of Psalms: Large Print. Louisville: Entirely Jesus Press, 2018.
Wonchul, Shin. “Our Tongue-Cut God, Respond to Us”: Prayer of Righteous Anger and Communal Lament as Theology of the Oppressed.” Theology Today 78, no. 1 (2021): 3-17.
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- David King, The Book of Psalms: Large Print (Louisville: Entirely Jesus Press, 2018), 8.
- Ibid, 13.
- Shin Wonchul, “Our Tongue-Cut God, Respond to Us”: Prayer of Righteous Anger and Communal Lament as Theology of the Oppressed,” Theology Today 78, no. 1 (2021): 11.
- Ibid, 10.