This is the aspect of a narrative-historical reading that proves to be a significant hurdle to so many I encounter. Evangelicals seem to be willing to better understand the historical, cultural and narrative aspects of scripture but are unwilling to abandon the devotional/doctrinal aspects. So it is always a “both” “and” situation. It has its original meaning in its original context AND its theological meaning. It has the meaning for the people who made up the initial audience and a universal doctrinal meaning that God meant for all Christians.
But my question is whether there is theological or perhaps “relational” insight to be had from the narrative-historical perspective. Can we gain insights into the nature and character of God through a better understanding of the history; of the story? What do we gain from better understanding the story of the people of Israel and then accepting it as “our” story in some important way?
What do these Psalms mean to us today as the people of God? Are they just historical artifacts? Or can we learn from them in perhaps indirect or contingent ways rather than through a straight devotional approach?