Book of Psalms

 


Summary of the Book of Psalms

The genre of Psalms is songs and poetry of all kinds.  It’s written by multiple authors:

King David wrote 73, Asaph wrote 12, the sons of Korah wrote 9, King Solomon wrote 3, Ethan and Moses each wrote 1, and One of the psalms are anonymous. 

The psalms were written over the span of approximately 900 years (Beginning at the time of Moses 1440 B.C. and thru the captivity in 586 B.C.).

The Psalms include praises, laments, blessings, and thanksgivings.  They’re directed at God and they help us to express and communicate ourselves to Him. 

We read about the Psalmists’ emotions from one extreme to another; from praising and worshipping God with fervor, to repentance and crying out to Him in despair.

Psalms sits at the very center of the Bible.  The major themes found in Psalms are Praise, God’s Power, Forgiveness, Thankfulness, and Trust. 

My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless His holy name forever and ever (145:21).

The book of Psalms was originally divided into five books:

Book 1 consists of chapters 1-41, Book 2 corresponds to chapters 42-72, Book 3 is chapters 73-89, Book 4 includes chapters 90-106, and Book 5 is chapters 107-150. 

Mainly they’re written to help us deliver praise to God who is worthy such as Psalms 150:6 reads,

Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD.  Praise ye the LORD.

How do we know what God wants for us in our lives? 

Papyrus Amherst 63, as it came to be known, has attracted scholarly curiosity since its discovery in Egypt more than a century ago. When it was recently finally deciphered and translated, it revealed Israelite Psalms. Photo: Courtesy of Oriental Institute Museum Archives, Box 009.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The answer is found by studying His Word, as Psalm 1 clearly states.

The Psalms are the inward and outward expressions of the saints as they are passing through their daily lives:

(1) under God’s sovereignty, (2) learning to deal with God and be dealt with by God, (3) while calling on the name of the Lord, praying, singing, and praising, and (4) in order that their lives would issue in God’s purpose of His house in Zion and in Jerusalem.

Many of these expressions are the very expressions of Christ who as the Spirit of Christ was in the writers producing the Psalms as the Word of Christ (Col 3:16).  

Thus, the expressions include the inner thoughts and feelings of the saints with their frustrations, sorrows, distresses, hopes, desires, longings, and aspirations. 

These expressions are uttered in prayer, song, praise, calling, moaning, murmurings, talking to themselves, shouting complaining, declaring, and playing musical instruments, which helped them to break through the severity of their trials.

Martin Luther’s summary of the Psalms is brief, to the point and helpful:

In the Psalms one looks into the hearts of all the saints.