This is an in-depth study on the book of Psalms, which is a collection of prayers and praises demonstrating the psalmist's devotion to Yahweh. This study is 2 hours long (recorded in 2019). This is worth 1 Bible CEU.

 

Psalms Notes (370.39 KB)

 

Psalms-Purpose
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17:00 min
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Psalms-Structure
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10:43 min
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Psalms-Laments
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14:50 min
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Pslams-Thanksgivings, Hymns, Royals
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18:35 min
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Psalms-Types of Parallelisms
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19:34 min
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Psalms-Figures of Speech
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26:56 min
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The English title “Psalms” comes from the Greek word psalmoi, in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible), translated from the Hebrew word mizmor, which means “songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument.”[1] The texts of the individual psalms do not usually indicate who wrote them. However, some of the titles of the individual psalms do contain information about the writers. Moses wrote Psalm 90. David composed 73 psalms, mostly in the first part of the book (Ps. 1-72). Asaph wrote 12 (Ps. 50, 73-83). Korah’s descendants wrote 10 (Ps. 42, 44-49, 84, 87-88). Solomon wrote Psalm 127 and perhaps 72. Heman the Ezrahite wrote one, Psalm 88. Ethan the Ezrahite composed Psalm 89. The book of Psalms is a collection of psalms from before the monarchy to after the exile. It is not clear when the task of compiling the book of Psalms was completed.

The purpose of the book of Psalms is to show that devotion to Yahweh means humans are to bring all of their life and emotions to Yahweh in petition and praise. This is because Yahweh alone is the sovereign king over creation who loves us unconditionally and can handle our petitions and thus is worthy of our praise. Because Yahweh is the relational and sovereign creator, the psalmist is able to surrender his emotions to Yahweh so that He may deal with them in a godly way. It does not matter whether the emotion is positive or negative, godly or ungodly, the psalmist brings all of His emotions to Yahweh and surrenders them before Him. Only Yahweh is able to change the circumstances or the feelings of the psalmist. By surrendering one’s petitions and emotions to Yahweh, one shows trust in and devotion to Yahweh, which is an act of worship.

It is important to understand that the psalms are not meant to always teach correct theology about what one should believe or feel. For example, in Ps. 69:22-28 and 109:6-18 David prays that Yahweh would do horrible things to his opponents for the way they treated him. This is not meant to teach that it is acceptable for a person to desire horrible things to happen to others. Rather, it teaches that people do have those thoughts and feelings and that they are to give them to Yahweh in honest, open, and emotionally vulnerable prayers for Him to deal with. The point is that the feelings one has are real and that it is safe to be vulnerable with Yahweh because He cares about His children. Then He is able to enter the individual’s life, to meet them where they are emotionally, provide them with comfort, enable them to process their thoughts and emotions, and direct them in healing and a correct way of thinking.

Even though the psalms were written by individuals addressing specific issues in their lives, most of the Psalms were not composed for private prayer but for the public and communal worship in the temple.[2] This is seen in the headings of many of the individual psalms, and there are many psalms that call for the community to join the psalmist in praise (Ps. 24:7-10; 26:6-7; 42; 68:24-27; 109:30; 116:12-14, 17-18; 136). The community of believers would learn and recite these as they entered the temple or celebrated the festivals. It was a way of bringing the community together in emotional surrender to and praise of Yahweh.

 

[1] See Gerald H. Wilson. Psalms Volume 1, p. 21.

[2] See Gerald H. Wilson. Psalms Volume 1, p. 24.