Book Of Psalms From The Bible - God's Truth

The Book Of Psalms

There is no portion of the Bible that is as frequently read as the book of Psalms. It provides instruction, inspiration, motivation, and consolation.

The Facts about the Psalms

The book of Psalms is a collection of 150 lyric poems. A lyric poem is defined as “that which directly expresses the individual emotions of the poet.” Religious lyric poetry reflects the inner feelings of the person whose soul is stirred by thoughts of God. The Psalms are thus inspired responses of various individuals to God’s revelation of himself in the Old Testament era.

The Psalms were composed over a span of about one thousand years. The earliest was by Moses (Psalm 90) in the fifteenth century B.C., and a couple appear to be contemporary with the Babylonian captivity in the sixth century B.C. (Psalms 126 and 137). Some of these poems are not assigned authors (almost a third of them). Other composers are identified: one by Moses, seventy-three by David, twelve by Asaph, ten by the descendants of Korah, one or two by Solomon, one by Heman, and one by Ethan.

The New Testament and The Psalms

The Psalms are quoted more frequently in the New Testament than any other book of the Old Testament. There are about one hundred direct references or allusions from the Psalms in the New Testament. The divine inspiration of the Psalms is strongly affirmed in the New Testament. Jesus asked the Jewish leaders of his day, “How then doth David in the Spirit call him [the Messiah] Lord?” Christ was quoting from Psalm 110. Again, Peter, quoting from Psalm 69, declared, “The Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas” (Acts 1:16ff).

How To Classify the Psalms

To classify the Psalms according to themes is every difficult, the listings below might be helpful.

Psalms of Praise

A number of the Psalms are aimed at extolling the nature of God as his divinity is observed in both his works and his word. Psalm 19 is an excellent example. This magnificent composition affirms the revelation of Jehovah in his work of creation (vv. 1-6) and in his verbalized communication with man in history (vv. 7-14).

Historical Psalms

Some scholars have catalogued more than twenty historical or national psalms. Consider Psalm 105: It commences with an anthem of praise to God for his wonderful works (vv. 1-5). It then rehearses the covenant that Jehovah made with Abraham (vv. 6-15). It recalls the adventures of Joseph, and the sojourn of Israel in Egypt (vv. 16-24). The Psalm tells of Moses the deliverer, and the devastating plagues which God rained upon evil Egypt (vv. 25-38). There is an allusion to Israel’s wandering in the wilderness (vv. 39-41). Finally, the conquest of Canaan is celebrated (vv. 42-45). Great lessons are to be learned from history.

Ethical Psalms

Some of the Psalms emphasize the origin and nature of man. They stress his moral responsibility and ultimate accountability. For example, the dignity of man is underscored in Psalm 8, where the writer, contemplating the grandeur of the creation—which was made subject to humanity—is forced to wonder, “What is man, that thou are mindful of him?”

Psalms of Penitence

Some of the Psalms reflect upon the holiness of God and, by way of contrast, the sinfulness of man. They acknowledge the fact that evil conduct is an assault upon the Creator, and they evince a deep feeling of contrition as a consequence of offending Jehovah. David’s tragic sins, along with the heartaches that followed, are echoed in several of the Psalms (cf. 6; 32; 38; 51; 143). The spirit of these poems surely stands in bold relief to the flippant attitude toward sin that is so characteristic of today’s world.

Imprecatory Psalms

An imprecation is a prayer for the defeat and/or destruction of one’s enemies. Several of the Psalms are strongly of this tone (cf. 35; 69; 109; 137)—a circumstance that has caused liberal critics to attack the inspiration of these pieces of literature. What is frequently overlooked, however, is the fact that these biblical imprecations are not expressions of personal, hateful vengeance; rather, they are pronouncements regarding the divine justice that is due those who are persistent enemies of the Holy God. And they were uttered, not out of heated passion, but under the calm guidance of the Holy Spirit (cf. 69; Acts 1:16-20).

Messianic Psalms

Though some rational critics, like T. K. Cheyne, denied the Messianic import of some of the Psalms, our Lord obviously taught otherwise. Shortly after his resurrection, Christ declared that all things that had been written in the law of Moses, in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning him, must be fulfilled (Luke 24:44).

Various truths regarding the Messiah are set forth in the Psalms. He would be both divine (45:6-7) and human (22:22). He would be betrayed (41:9) and suffer death (22:1-31). But he would rise from the grave (16:10), and ascend into heaven where he serves as our king and priest (110:1-7).

Ceremonial Psalms

Finally, we note that some of the Psalms were obviously designed to accommodate certain elements of Jewish worship. Psalm 30 was composed for the dedication of the temple site. The Sabbath day is celebrated in Psalm 90.


Bible - The Book Of Psalms

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd. He leads me in paths of righteousness. I will fear no evil. I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills; my help comes from the LORD. He who keeps you will not slumber. The LORD will keep you from all evil.

Psalm 138

I give you thanks, O LORD! All the kings of the earth will praise you. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life.

Psalm 62

My soul waits for God alone. He alone is my rock and my salvation. Trust in him at all times, O people. Power and love belong to God.

Psalm 46

God is our refuge. We will not fear, though the earth give way. The nations rage, kingdoms fall. "Be still and know that I am God."

Psalm 117

Praise the LORD! For great is his love towards us.

Psalm 37

Do not be envious of evildoers, for they will fade like the grass. The righteous will inherit the earth. The LORD is their stronghold.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked, whose delight is in the law of the LORD. He is like a tree planted by the water.

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the LORD. He drew me up from the pit. I delight to do your will, O God. My heart fails me, but you are my help.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD! A day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. For the LORD is a sun and shield.

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