Psalms

Psalms is a collection of poems written over a long period of time by various authors. They express the heart of humanity in all generations through a variety of religious experiences. Originally the poems were chanted or sung. One of the characteristics of this Hebrew poetry is parallelism; that is, the second line reiterates the idea of the first line.

AUTHOR: A number of authors. Some are known; some are unknown; some are speculative.
• Almost half (73 Psalms) are attributed to David.
• 12 were by Asaph.
• 10 by the sons of Korah.
• 2 by Solomon. Psalms 2 & 127)
• 1 by Moses. (Psalm 90)
• 1 by Heman.
• 1 by Ethan
• 50 are anonymous
• Some of the anonymous Psalms are attributed to Ezra.

Two key passages to look at:

Psalm 19:14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be
acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Psalm 145:21 – My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, And all flesh shall bless His
holy name Forever and ever.

The two central themes of worship and praise are beautifully wed in the 100th Psalm.

Observations about Psalms:

The Book of Psalms is the longest and perhaps most widely used book in the Bible. Its 150 songs run from the Creation through the patriarchal, theocratic, monarchial, exilic, and postexilic periods of the Old Testament. The tremendous breadth of subject matter in the Psalms includes such diverse topics as:
a. Jubilation.
b. War.
c. Peace.
d. Worship
e. Judgment.
f. Messianic prophecy.
g. Praise.
h. Lament.

There are ten types of Psalms:

INDIVIDUAL LAMENT PSALMS
These are directly addressed to God, petitioning Him to rescue and defend an individual. They contain five elements: an introduction (usually a cry unto God), the lament, a confession of trust in God, the petition, and a declaration or vow of praise.
Most Psalms are of this type. (3-7; 12; 13; 22; 25-28; 35; 38-40; 42; 43; 51; 54-57; 59; 61; 63; 64; 69-71; 86; 88; 102; 109; 120; 130; 140-143)

COMMUNAL LAMENT PSALMS
The only difference between the communal and the individual laments Psalms is that the nation rather than the individual makes the lament.
Examples: 44; 60; 74; 79; 80; 83; 85; 90; 123

INDIVIDUAL THANKSGIVING PSALMS
The Psalmist publicly acknowledges God’s activity on his behalf. These Psalms thank God for something He has already done or express confidence in what He will yet do. They contain four elements: a proclamation to praise God, a summary statement, a report of deliverance, and a renewed vow of praise.
Examples: 18; 30; 32; 34; 40; 41; 66; 106; 116; 138

COMMUNAL THANKSGIVING PSALMS
In these Psalms the acknowledgment is made by the nation rather than by an individual.
Examples: 124; 129

GENERAL PRAISE PSALMS
These Psalms are more general than the thanksgiving Psalms. The psalmist attempts to magnify the name of God and boast about His greatness.
Examples: 8; 19; 29; 103; 104; 139; 148; 150
The joyous exclamation “hallelujah” (“praise the Lord”) is found in several of these Psalms

DESCRIPTIVE PRAISE PSALMS
These Psalms praise God for His attributes and acts.
Examples: 33; 36; 15; 111; 113; 117; 135; 136; 146; 147

ENTHRONEMENT PSALMS
These Psalms describe God’s sovereign reign over all.
Examples: 27; 83-99

PILGRIMAGE PSALMS
Also known as Songs of Zion, these Psalms were sung by pilgrims traveling up to Jerusalem for the three annual religious feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles.
Examples: 43; 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 120-134

ROYAL PSALMS
The reigns of the earthly king and the heavenly king are portrayed in these Psalms.
Examples: 2; 18; 20; 21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110; 132; 14

WISDOM AND DIDACTIC PSALMS
The reader is exhorted and instructed in the way of righteousness.
Examples: 1; 37; 119

There are five different types of Messianic Psalms:
TYPICAL MESSIANIC – The subject of the Psalm is in some respects a type of Christ. Examples: 4:20; 69:4, 9
TYPICAL PROPHETIC – The psalmist uses language to describe his present experience, which points beyond his own life and becomes historically true only in Christ.
INDIRECTLY MESSIANIC – At the time of composition the Psalm refers to a king or the house of David in general, but waits final fulfillment in Christ.
PURELY PROPHETIC – Refers solely to Christ without reference to any other son of David.
ENTHRONEMENT – Anticipates the coming of Yahweh and the consummation of His kingdom which will be fulfilled in the Person of Christ.

BOOK ONE (Psalms 1 – 41)

1. Two ways of Life Contrasted
2. Coronation of the Lord’s Anointed
3. Victory in the face of Defeat
4 Evening Prayer for Deliverance
5. Morning Prayer for Guidance
6. Prayer for God’s Mercy
7. Wickedness Justly Rewarded
8. God’s Glory and Human Dominion
9. Praise for Victory over Enemies
10. Petition for God’s judgment
11. God Tests the Sons of Men
12. The Pure Words of the Lord
13. The Prayer for God’s Answer—Now
14. The Characteristics of the Godless
15. The Characteristics of the Godly
16. Eternal Life for the One Who Trusts
17. “Hide Me Under the Shadow of your Wings”
18. Thanksgiving for Deliverance by God
19. The Works and Words of God
20. Trust Not in Chariots and Horses but in God
21. Triumph of the King
22. Psalm of the Cross
23. Psalm of the Shepherd
24. Psalm of the King of Glory
25. Acrostic Prayer for Instruction
26. “Examine Me, O Lord, and Prove me”
27. Trust in the Lord and Be Not Afraid
28. Rejoice Because of Answered Prayer
29. The Powerful Voice of God
30. Praise for Dramatic Deliverance
31. “Be of Good Courage”
32. The Blessedness of Forgiveness
33. God Considers All Human Works
34. Seek the Lord
35. Petition for God’s intervention
36. The Excellent Loving-kindness of God
37. “Rest in the Lord”
38. The Heavy Burden of Sin
39. Know the Measure of Human Days
40. Delight to Do God’s Will
41. The Blessedness of Helping the Poor

BOOK TWO (Psalms 42 – 72)

42. Seek After the Lord
43. “Hope is God”
44. Prayer for Deliverance by God
45. The Psalm of the Great King
46 “God is Our refuge and Strength”
47. The Lord Shall Subdue All nations
48. The Praise of Mount Zion
49. Riches Cannot Redeem
50. The Lord Shall Judge All People
51. Confession and Forgiveness of Sin
52. The Lord Shall Judge the Deceitful
53. A Portrait of the Godless
54. The Lord is Our helper
55. “Cast Your Burden on the Lord”
56. Fears in the Midst of Trials
57. Prayers in the Midst of Perils
58. Wicked Judges Will Be judged
59. Petition for Deliverance from Enemies
60. A Prayer for Deliverance of the Nation
61. A Prayer When Overwhelmed
62. Wait For God
63. Thirst For God
64. A Prayer For God’s Protection
65. God’s Provision Through Nature
66. Remember What God has Done
67. God Shall govern the Earth
68. God is the Father of the fatherless
69. Petition for God to Draw Near
70. Prayer for the Poor and Needy
71. Prayer for the Aged
72. The Reign of the Messiah

BOOK THREE (Psalms 73-89)

73. The Perspective of Eternity
74. Request for God to remember His Covenant
75. “God is the Judge”
76. The Glorious Might of God
77. When overwhelmed, Remember God’s Greatness
78. God’s Continued Guidance in Spite of Unbelief
79. Avenge the Defilement of Jerusalem
80. Israel’s Plea for God’s Mercy
81. God’s Plea For Israel’s Obedience
82. Rebuke of Israel’s Unjust Judges
83. Plea for God to Destroy Israel’s Enemies
84. The Joy of Dwelling with God
85. Prayer for Revival
86. “Teach Me Your Way, O Lord”
87. Glorious Zion, City of God
88. Crying from Deepest Affliction
89. Claiming God’s Promises in Affliction

BOOK FOUR (Psalms 90-106)

90. “Teach Us to Number Our Days”
91. Abiding in “the Shadow of the Almighty”
92. It is Good to Praise the Lord
93. The majesty of God
94. Vengeance Belongs Only to God
95. Call to Worship the Lord
96. Declare the Glory of God
97. Rejoice! The Lord Reigns!
98. Sing a New Song to the Lord
99. “Exalt the Lord with Gladness
100. “Serve the Lord with Gladness”
101. Commitments of a holy Life
102. Prayer of an Overwhelmed Saint
103. “Bless the Lord”
104, Psalm Rehearsing Creation
105. Remember God Keeps His Promises
106. “We Have Sinned”

BOOK FOUR (Psalms 107-150

107. God Satisfies the Longing Soul
108. Awake Early and Praise the Lord
109. Song of the Slandered
110. The Coming of the Priest-King-Judge
111. Praise for God’s Tender Care
112. The Blessings of Those Who Fear God
113. The Condescending Grace of God
114. In Praise for the Exodus
115. To God Alone Be the Glory
116. Love the Lord for What he Has Done
117. The Praise of All Peoples
118. Better to Trust God than People
119. An Acrostic in Praise of the Scriptures
120. A Cry in Distress
121. God is Our keeper
122 Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem
123. Plea for the Mercy of God
124. God is on Our Side
125. Trust in the Lord and Abide Forever
126. “Sow in Tears . . . Reap in Joy”
127. Children are God’s Heritage
128. Blessing on the House of the God-Fearing
129. Plea of the Persecuted
130. “My Soul Waits for the Lord
131. A Childlike Faith
132. Trust in the God of David
133. Beauty of the unity of the Brethren
134. Praise the Lord in the Evening
135. God Has Done Great Things
136. God’s Mercy Endures Forever
137. Tears in Exile
138. God Answered My Prayer
140. Preserve Me From Violence
141. “Set a Guard, O Lord, over My Mouth”
142. “No One Cares for My Soul”
143. “Teach Me to Do Your Will”
144. “What is Man?”
145. Testify to God’s Great Acts
146. “Do Not Put Your Trust in Princes”
147. God Heals the Brokenhearted
148. All Creation Praises the Lord
149. “The Lord Takes Pleasure in His People”
150. “Praise the Lord!”

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