Carmen Joy Imes

Carmen Joy Imes

Carmen Joy Imes is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Prairie College in Three Hills, Alberta. She is the author of Bearing God’s Name: Why Sinai Still Matters (IVP, 2019), Bearing YHWH’s Name at Sinai: A Reexamination of the Name Command of the Decalogue (Eisenbrauns, 2018) and Illustrated Exodus in Hebrew (GlossaHouse, 2017). Her current projects include a commentary on the book of Exodus for Baker Academic and a book for IVP exploring human vocation as the Image of God. Carmen blogs at


The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cried out for deliverance, and Yahweh heard them (Exodus 2:23). Notice carefully: Yahweh did not offer to comfort the Hebrews. Yahweh did not tell them to endure their situation because things would all work out in the end, or because after death they would be “in a better place.” Instead, Yahweh acted on covenant promises made with their ancestors by entering history.

If we read carefully, we discover that no psalm is off limits for the early church. They needed them. And so do we.

Praise psalms may fail to raise our political antennae, but when we stop to consider what praise entails, we discover that praise makes the most daring political claims of all.