Psalms Introduction Part 1

Psalms Introduction

Part 1

I love the Book of Psalms because it is a collection of poems and hymns of praise and worship to God. The traditional Hebrew title for the Book of Psalms means "praises." The Jewish people used the psalms in corporate worship and personal devotion. The first Christian churches were made up mainly of Jewish believers, so it was natural that they would sing the psalms to praise and worship God.

The Book of Psalms contains 150 psalms, which were composed over a period of almost one thousand years, dating from the time of Moses. Originally the book was divided into five smaller books. David wrote Psalms 1 through 41. David, Asaph and the sons of Korah wrote Psalms 42 through 72. Asaph, the sons of Korah, David, Heman and Ethan wrote Psalms 73 through 89. Moses, David and Solomon most likely wrote Psalms 90 through 106. David and Solomon most likely wrote Psalms 107 through 150.

Psalm 119 has more verses than any other chapter in the Bible. Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter and the middle chapter of the Bible. Psalm 118:8 is the middle verse of the Bible.

The psalms teach about the forgiveness of sin by grace and also about God's magnificent faithfulness to His children. God is with us no matter what happens in our lives. He knows everything that is going on, and He always listens to our prayers and our praises.

Many psalms are called messianic psalms because they refer to the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. Psalm 22 describes Jesus' crucifixion. Psalms 2 and 110 tell us of His reign. Many verses from the psalms are quoted in the New Testament and explicitly declared to refer to Christ.

You can follow the ups and downs of King David's life in the psalms that he wrote. He wrote Psalm 3 when he fled from his son Absalom and Psalm 18 when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. Psalm 51 is David's prayer of repentance after he had committed adultery with Bathsheba. He wrote Psalm 56 when the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

Carefully read the psalms, for they are full of wisdom and understanding and they remind us that God really does love us. Fill in the blanks on the worksheet and on the "Go to the Word" sheet. May God bless you as you study His Word.

Warren Simmons

NIV Archaeological Study Bible ( Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2005), 791.