Over the past few weeks I’ve begun many of my days by reading "Psalms for my Day: A Child’s Praise Devotional". The book contains a fresh translation of 31 of the Psalms found in the Old Testament. The translation is done by biblical scholar Alec Motyer. Accompanying the translation is a simple explanation of the rich truths of the psalm and a short prayer. The work is masterfully illustrated by Catherine Pape and includes a ‘new words’ index at the back of the book with succinct definitions for difficult words. In this respect, the translation might present a difficulty for kids learning to read. The book is intended for ages 4-11, but the psalms present something for every reader.
It is a charming introduction to the psalms for you and your little ones. The psalms place before the believer both the realism and idealism of the Christian life – despair and trial, defeat and suffering, but also repentance and confession, growth and longing, praise and hope. I was glad to see Psalm 32 amongst those included. Motyers commentary hints to the Christ-centered approach Motyer takes on many of the Psalms, he writes, “What a blessing when sin is ‘covered’ – not by being out of sight but when Jesus covers it with his sinlessness. My sin is no longer something I have to pay for because Jesus Christ has taken the punishment for the sin of his people when he died on the cross. This is a great cause of rejoicing and makes us sing praise to God” (35).
Introducing the psalms to your children while they are young will help them to recognize the mystery and beauty of their God. Moreover, the book provides a palatable format for them to access the psalms as they mature in their young faith. I am very pleased to have this book to pull out of my library when visited by family and friends with children!
Greg Parker Jr, St Columba's Free Church, Edinburgh