The Psalms were written to provide poetry for praise, worship, and confession to God. One of the key verses from the Psalms is Psalm 150:6 – “Let EVERY thing that has BREATH praise The Lord,”
They were written by several different authors. David wrote 73. Asaph wrote 12. Sons of Korah wrote 9. Soloman wrote 2. Heman (with sons of Korah) Ethan and Moses each wrote 1. 51 Psalms are tagged as having an anonymous author although the NT ascribes Psalm 2 (via Acts 4:25) and Psalm 95 (via Heb 4:7) also to David and several scholars believe he probably wrote more of the anonymous ones based on his style and original wording.
They were written between the time of Moses (around 1440 BC) and Babylonian captivity (586 BC).
The Psalms were never intended to be narrations of historical events; however, they often parallel events in history such as David’s flight from Saul and his sin with Bathsheba.
The authors of the Psalms are deeply honest with God. They were humble, and respectful, yet they held nothing back. This reveals to us that these authors were very close to God with deep, personal, intimate relationships with HIM. In reality the best relationships are based on honesty of feelings and emotions, fears and hopes. This is the same with God…. HE desires the same openness and honesty with us/from us. God desires an authentic relationship with us. HE KNOWS us and ALREADY knows what we are thinking…so why not have a genuine communication with HIM. And as with all good communication …. it requires speaking as well as listening. When WE limit the depths of our communication, we become shallow with people and with God. He wants us to KNOW we are loved, we can know HIM (He already knows us, but desires to hear our prayers, thanksgiving, praise to HIM), and He desires to help us.
As we read the Psalms, we will often see where the psalmists often being sharing their problems and then there is a turn in writing to the knowledge of WHO GOD is and WHAT HE can do. Isn’t this how we often begin our prayers to God… we will tell him all about what is going on, pray, and then our eyes will be opened as we listen to HIM and are comforted by HIM and we change to praising Him??
The Psalms express the heart and soul of humanity through songs and prayers. We will read people at their lowest lows and at their most thankful. They honestly and totally pour out their true feelings reflecting a dynamic powerful, and life changing friendship with HIM!!
The Psalms are divided into five sections which correspond with the first five books of the bible.
Psalms 1-41 — these are similar to Genesis in that God created everything pure and perfect in total communion with HIM, then the fall from grace, and the promised redemption…just as we have redemption.
Psalms 42-72 — are similar to Exodus. Israel as a nation was the CHOSEN nation; yet they made choices that ruined them; and God STILL delivered them as he does for us today.
Psalms 73-89 — are similar to Leviticus. God explained HIS laws and how HIS people were to be Holy and set apart — a priesthood for HIM. Just as the Israelites did, we can turn to HIM for deliverance and learn how to reverence and worship HIM because HE is HOLY!!
Psalms 90-106 — were mainly written by anonymous authors. This section of the Psalms are similar to Numbers which focuses on God’s relationship with the Nation of Israel and reminds us that our prayers can be powerful for our nation and our leaders. We are also reminded that regardless of what is going on around us …….God is STILL IN CONTROL and our eternal home in heaven is always there.. it never changes!!!
Psalm 107-150 were mainly written by David. They are similar to Deuteronomy which is concerned with God and HIS Word. These Psalms are all about praise and thanksgiving for God and HIS Word.
The big themes in Psalms are praise, God’s power, forgiveness, thankfulness, and trust. These are all ways to teach us to put God first in our lifes….in all things…in all ways…at all times… loving The Lord our God with all our heart, souls, and minds and loving our neighbors as ourselves.
Sharing HIS love