Experiencing God in the Psalms
If you want more than a wind chop of joy in your life, I encourage you to follow me out into the deep water, the featureless wasteland of the open ocean … Matthew Jacoby
Matthew Jacoby, lead singer of the psalm-singing Sons of Korah (for over 15 years), brings us a refreshing book that only one intimately acquainted with not only the Psalms, but the God of the Psalms could write. From relationship and its complexity and breakdown—“When we begin a relationship, we bring with us a vast array of complex spiritual dysfunctions”—to the joy of love, Deeper Places shimmers with authority, insight, honesty, and power. Jacoby is true to his word; he reveals deeper places through inspired exegesis, connecting us to God in the Psalms with accessible, emotional, and poetic language. When he describes the “frequent, deliberate expression of the contradiction between divine revelation and reality” in the Psalms (particularly those of lament and supplication), he uses the presence of tension in Scripture and life to anchor our faith more deeply. He links God’s way of creating, allowing, and resolving tension to stories across Testaments that display his consistent character. At the heart of Deeper Places is tension and joy. Jacoby declares,
[T]he psalmists never played down the tension between the divine promises and the reality of their situations. On the contrary, they highlighted this tension and intensified their sense of it. As a result, their faith sprang forth with joyful expressions of confidence.
Whether probing questions such as “Why does God make us wait?” or exploring the empowering force of gratitude, Jacoby leads us to a place of enjoying God, the profound rest of worship and pleasures for evermore.
At the highest point of the spiritual journey portrayed by the Psalter, we become vessels of praise to God. This deeper sense of praise is precisely what it means to “glorify.” We can praise God in a shallower sense with words alone, but we can only glorify God by enjoying him.