March 12, 2018
Introduction to Psalms
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 150:6
When I need encouragement, I can go to the book of Psalms and find it. It offers strength, courage, joy, reassurance of God's presence, hope while hurting, deliverance, instruction, worship, conviction of sin, as well as the lovingkindness of God. I can picture David as a shepherd boy sitting under the star, alone, strumming his harp and singing praises to his God. Also, David lived in heart wrenching times running for his life. So join me as we walk this long journey through the Psalms.
The word psalm comes from a Greek word that means a poem sung to musical accompaniment.
The Hebrew name is tehillim, which means praises.
Many of the Psalms are hymns of praise to God, while others are prayers from sufferers, confessions of sin, confessions of faith, nature hymns, ands songs that teach Jewish history. In each one, the focal point for faith is the Lord. The psalms teach us to have a personal relationship with God as we tell Him our hurts and our needs and as we meditate on His greatness and glory. (Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament)
Except for 49 Psalms, the author is mentioned in the superscript:
- David (king of Israel, and a shepherd beforehand) wrote 73 of them;
- Asaph (recorder during King Hezeiah's reign) wrote 12 (Psalms 50, 73-83);
- sons of Korah(she was Moses' second wife) wrote 12 (Psalms 42-49, 84,85,87);
- Solomon (son of King David) wrote 2 (Psalms 72,127);
- Ethan (a wise man and and Ezrahite) wrote 1 (Psalm 89);
- Herman, son of Korah (Psalm 88; and
- Moses wrote 1 (Psalm 90). (Falwell)
Probably the oldest Psalm is 90, which was written by Moses. About 250 years after the Israelites returned from exile in Babylon, the songs and prayers were collected as they were written during the monarchy and put together in the form we now have them. These psalms were used in the temple during the time of Christ and then in synagogues following the dispersion of the Jews. (David Jeremiah)
The Psalms are divided into 5 categories or books:
- Book 1-(Ps. 1-41) mainly written by David; is similar to the book of Genesis, which tells about creation, sin, redemption by God; are not organized by topic.
- Book 2- (Ps. 42-72) were written by David and sons of Korah (second wife of Moses); is similar to the book of Exodus; describes a ruined and recovered Israel;
- Book 3-(Ps. 73-89) were written mainly by Asaph or his descendants; is similar to the book of Leviticus; speaks of the Temple and God's holiness.
- Book 4-(Ps. 90-106) were mainly written by unknown authors; is similar to the book of Numbers; discusses the relationships of Israel to surrounding nations, and God's rule.
- Book 5-(Ps. 107-150) mainly written by David, is similar to the book of Deuteronomy; involves praise and thanksgiving for God and His Word; most were set to music and used as a hymnbook in worship. (Life Application Study Bible)
Psalms shortest chapter is 117, while the longest chapter is 119. This book contains the center of the bible, being Psalms 118:8, It is better to trust in the LORD, than to put confidence in man.
This verse has 594 chapters before and after it.
The first verse speaks of being blessed, joyful. The secret to true happiness is found in God. Are you ready after studying the book of Job? I sure am! Got my Christian music on and ready to sing praises to Jesus. No need to be perfectly on key, just a song in the heart will do.