Let us examine an overview of the collection of songs expressing praise, thanksgiving, and confession to God which is depicted authentically in Book of Psalms. This poetical Old Testament portion of the Word of God (written primarily by David) encompasses praise, God’s power, forgiveness, gratitude, and trust.
The Book of Psalms was written primarily by David between the time of Moses (around 1440 B.C.) and the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.). For the most part, the psalms were not intended to be narrations of historical events. However, they often parallel events in history, such as David’s flight from Saul (Psalm 18) and his sin with Bathsheba (Psalm 51). Although Psalms has a unified plan, each psalm can be read and understood alone. Psalms is probably the most widely read book of the Bible, because it is easy to relate to the writer’s emotions.
Authorship: David wrote 73 psalms; Asaph wrote 12; the descendants of Korah wrote 10; Solomon wrote 2, Heman (with the descendants of Korah), Ethan, and Moses each wrote 1. Although 51 psalms are anonymous, the New Testament ascribes two of the anonymous psalms–Psalm 2 and 95–to David. (See Acts 4:25; Hebrews 4:7).
…you spoke long ago by the Holy Spirit through our ancestor David, your servant, saying, “Why were the nations so angry? Why did they waste their time with futile plans?” Acts 4:25
So God set another time for entering his rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David much later in the words already quoted: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.” Hebrews 4:7
Key Place: God’s holy Temple.
Psalms are songs of praise to God as our Creator, Savior, and provider. Reading Psalms can encourage us to praise Him.
God is all-powerful, and always in control (sovereign) of every situation. Believing in God’s power can overcome the despair of any pain or trial.
Many psalms are intense prayers asking God for forgiveness. Because God forgives us, we can pray to Him honestly and directly. When we receive God’s forgiveness, we move from being separated from Him to being close to Him, from feeling guilty to feeling loved.
God protects, guides, forgives, and provides everything we need. When we realize how much we benefit from knowing God, we can fully express our thanks to Him.
God’s faithfulness and justice has been proven throughout history. Knowing Him intimately drives away doubt, fear, and loneliness.
Reasons to Read Psalms
God’s Word was written to be studied, understood, and applied, and the Book of Psalms lends itself most directly to application. We may turn to Psalms looking for something, but sooner or later we will meet Someone. As we read and memorize Psalms, we will discover how much they are already part of us. They put our deepest hurts, longings, thoughts, and prayers into words. They gently push us toward being what God designed us to be–people who love and live for Him.
- To find comfort: Psalm 23
- To learn a new prayer: Psalm 136
- To understand yourself more clearly: Psalm 8
- To be forgiven for your sins: Psalm 51
- To meet God intimately: Psalm 103
- To learn a new song: Psalm 92
- To know how to come to God each day: Psalm 5
- To feel worthwhile: Psalm 139
- To understand why you should read the Bible: Psalm 119
- To know that God is in control: Psalm 146
- To give thanks to God: Psalm 136
- To know why you should worship God: Psalm 104
- To give praise to God: Psalm 145
- To please God: Psalm 15
May almighty God richly bless you,
Founder, Executive Publisher
Christian Times Online