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INTRODUCTION TO THE PSALMS (PART 1)

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Now these are the last words of David. Thus says David the son of Jesse; thus says the man raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel (2 Samuel 23:1, NKJV)

The book of Psalms is full of wonder, praise and love for God our creator, In the Psalms you can read about worship, lament, desperation, despair, creation, humanity, all of these topics are written about in Psalms. We can also say that Psalms are the thoughts, emotions, and inspirations of the people of God.

Every type of experience is reflected in the crucible of daily life and projected on the life of the believer today. (Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

This book’s name in its original language is (Seper + T’hillium) which means book of the Psalter and reflects its content. The 150 songs were originally set to music and sung in public worship and personal devotions. Psalms are quoted in all but two books of the New Testament.

Many of the Psalms have titles.  Many indicate the writer’s name and the circumstances of the writing; others give musical direction.

David wrote at least 73 Psalms. Other writers include Asaph (Psalm 50 and 73-83), Moses (Psalm 90), Ethan (Psalm 89), Solomon (Psalms 71 and 127), and the Sons of Korah (Psalms 42, 44-49, 84-85, and 88).

A THEORY FOR ORGANIZATION OF THE PSALMS

BOOKS OF THE PSALMS

THEME

BOOKS OF THE LAW

Book I (1-41)

God’s Sovereignty

Genesis

Book 2 (42-72)

Redemption

Exodus

Book 3 (73-89)

The Sanctuary

Leviticus

Book 4 (90-106)

Israel’s History

Numbers

Book 5 (107-150)

The Scripture

Deuteronomy

Some types of Psalms are Individual Laments, National Laments, Thanksgiving Psalms, Descriptive Praise Psalms, Wisdom Psalms, Pilgrim Psalms, Royal Psalms, Enthronement Psalms, Petition Psalms, and Penitential Psalms.   

Sing psalms of Praise to our Great God,

Explore the paths where others trod.

Look to the future and also the past,

Trace the soul of men whose die has been cast. 

Psalms are a call to praise God and enjoy God and His benefits. C. S. Lewis 

QUESTIONS

What is your favorite Psalm and why?

Give examples of some of the categories of Psalms listed above.

How can the Psalms be used to express your thoughts and feelings?