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"Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path."
Psalm 119:105

Join us as we read through the Book of Psalms together! 

STUDYING THE PSALMS

Psalms means “songs,” and were composed over a 900-year period. The book of Psalms is the "Prayerbook of God’s People," and the two primary themes are: God’s Word (the Bible), and the coming of the Messiah (Jesus), as described in Psalms 1 and 2 (the introduction to Psalms).

TRUTHS TO CONSIDER
  • The Psalms are instructive. They teach us about the character of God and our response to Him.  
  • The Psalms are emotional. They are poetry and songs.
  • The Psalms teach us how to pray. We see how to praise God and lament to Him.
  • The Psalms are inspired Scripture. They are so much more than just songs of worship; they are living and active and both written to God and by God.

AUTHORSHIP
The Psalms are primarily associated with David because he wrote the most (74 psalms) as the following breakdown indicates:
  • David - 74  (Psalms 2–9; 11–32; 34–41; 41–65; 68–70; 86; 101; 103; 108–110; 122; 124; 131; 133; 138–145)
  • Asaph - 12 (Psalms 50; 73–83)
  • Descendants of Korah - 10 (Psalms 42; 44–49; 84–85; 87)
  • Solomon - 2 (Psalms 72; 127)
  • Ethan - 1 (Psalm 89)
  • Heman - 1 (Psalm 88)
  • Moses - 1 (Psalm 90)
  • Anonymous - 49 (Many of these may also have been written by David.)

DIVISIONS*
  • Book 1 (Chapters 1-41) – Davidic Psalms. These are mostly psalms of David, reflecting much of David’s life and faith. These songs often come from a place of distress, but are accented by trust and confidence in the God who always saves and redeems His people.
  • Book 2 (Chapters 42-72) – Historical Psalms. There are more prayers of lament in this book. Historical facts also fill these songs!
  • Book 3 (Chapters 73-89) – Liturgical Psalms. These songs are even bleaker and darker, but rays of hope are scattered throughout them. 
  • Book 4 (Chapters 90-106) – Other Pre-captivity Psalms. These songs remind us of God’s sovereignty and long-standing faithfulness. 
  • Book 5 (Chapters 107-150) – Psalms of the Captivity and Return.  A final declaration of the goodness of God ending with the five “hallelujah psalms” (146-150).

Each of these ‘books’ ends with an emphatic and triumphant burst of praise (41:13; 72:18–19; 89:52; 106:48; 150:6).

*Some have suggested that each Book corresponds thematically to the first five books of the Bible: Book 1 and Genesis emphasizes the themes of creation, sin and salvation; Book 2 and Exodus both have themes of redemption; Book 3 and Leviticus have a common emphasis on the sanctuary; in Book 4 and Numbers there is the prominence of Moses and Israel’s wandering in the wilderness; and Book 5 and Deuteronomy emphasize the Word of God.