Lessons from the Psalms

We’ve now shared all 150 Psalms from God’s Holy Word, over the past months.

To continue over this month of November we’ll share some thoughts on the psalms for you, before we enter Advent with another biblical series.

The book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. Psalms are poems that can either be sung as songs or spoken as prayers by individuals or groups. There are 150 psalms in this book, and many of them list King David as their author. They were collected over a long period of time and became a very important part of the worship of the people of Israel

Some of the psalms tell the music leader what instruments should be used and what tunes should be followed, for example, look at Psalm 4 and Psalm 45.

Many of the Bible’s main ideas are echoed in the Psalms: praise, thankfulness, faith, hope, sorrow for sin, God’s loyalty and help. And at the heart of all the Psalms, there is a deep trust in God. The writers of the psalms always express their true feelings, whether they are praising God for his blessings or complaining in times of trouble.

In ancient Israel, the psalms were used in several different ways: (1) to praise God, as in Psalm 105; (2) to express sorrow, as in Psalm 13; (3) to teach, as in Psalm 1; (4) to honor Israel’s king and pray for fairness in his rule, as in Psalm 72; (5) to tell of God’s power over all creation, as in Psalm 47; (6) to show love for Jerusalem, as in Psalm 122; and (7) to celebrate festivals, as in Psalm 126. Of course, many of the Psalms could be used for more than one purpose.

Jesus used the psalms when he preached and taught, and they were often quited by the writers of the New Testament. The easliest Christians also used the psalms in worship, teaching, and telling others the good news about what God has done through Jesus Christ. A verse from Psalm 118, for example, is directly referred to six times in the New Testament:

The stone that the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone. (118.22)

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