Monday, July 9, 2018

Introduction to Psalms

Facts:   Psalms is:  the longest book in the Bible.
                            the most often read book in the Old Testament
                            the Old Testament book most often quoted in the New Testament.
                            the Old Testament book most often quoted by Jesus.

Word "psalm" literally = a song sung to stringed instruments.  (57 of the 150 are so designated).
Also have "song" - Psalm 46 intro,
               "maskil" - Psalm 32 intro
               "miktam" - Psalm 16 intro
Don't actually know what the designations mean.

Together these psalms constitue the Hebrew Hymnal.  Book of poems written to music in rhyming concept, not rhyming words as in English poetry.

Who wrote them?

73 attributed to David
2 attributed to Solomon
1 attributed to Moses
12 attributed to Asaph - a skilled leader in the tabernacle choir - a "seer" - 2 Chron. 29:30  Seer = person    who sees ahead like a prophet.
11 attributed to Sons of Korah = probably a guild of gifted song writers, poets, worship leaders
1 attributed to Ethan the Ezrahite - man of renown!!  = 1 Kings 4:32
Others - not identified  (anonymous)

When were they written?

Psm. 90 intro: Moses - approximately 1400 BC
Psm.  137:1-4 - exile - 586 BC
So --- written over a period of 1000 years.  (bulk from midway - David's time; ie 1000 BC)

Psalms were gathered, compiled into 5 books  (scrolls)
1-41        Psm. 41:13 "amen and amen"
42 - 72    Psm. 72:19-20   "amen and amen"
73 - 89    Psm. 89:52    "amen and amen"
90 - 106  Psm. 106:48  "amen. Praise the Lord"
107 - 150
 Finally were put into one book.  Words are preserved,  however, music is lost.

Some were written to well known tunes:
Psm. 9 intro, Psm. 22 intro., Psm. 56 intro.

Some specifically addressed, designated
Psm. 92 intro, Psm. 100 intro., Psm. 120 (-134) intro.
(Compare to our Christmas songs, Patriotic hymns)

Some have identifiable origins:
Psm. 3 intro,  Psm. 51 intro. - leader of Israel (David) written about his personal failure

Some include unidentifiable notations:
Psm. 3:2, 4, 8   "selah"

ALL = Poetry;  language of the heart  (feeling, emotion)

*Devotional theology*
expressing feelings without compromising truth
baring the soul without ignoring the mind
Biblical Poetry = a place where head and heart can meet!!!!

*Experiential Knowledge*
This is not knowledge based on Experience alone!!
= Knowledge based on experience ..... interpreted int he light of His Words.
Example:  Psm. 13:1-6 - head & heart meet - Psm. 22:1
Head and heart meet because we = thinkers AND feelers!!!

Types of Psalms:
Praise and thanksgiving, lament (complaint) & cursing
Songs of History (past), songs of expectation (future)

BUT ALL = Songs or Worship!!!  (they extol God!)
Therefore, we find:   YHWH  (LORD - 700 times)
Elohim (God - 365 times)
Adonai (Lord/Master - 54 times)
Elyon (Most High God - 22 times)

Worship Him for Who He IS!  
Creator - Eternal - Only God - All Knowing - All Powerful - All Present - Ever Faithful - Never Changing

Worship Him for what He DOES!!   (He does this because of Who He is.)
Psm. 9:12, 56:8  - He sees, hears, cares, remembers

Psm. 57:2-3, 12:5-6 - He responds; He comes down!

Psm. 3:1-4 - He provides, protects, delivers

Psm. 23:1-4 - He guides, directs, leads

Psm. 32:5 - He forgives, restores

Psm. 9:15-20 - He judges ---- He makes honest judgments;  He exacts justice

Psm.  25:1-5 - He is our HOPE 

Psm. 18:6-19, 46, 47 - He is an AWESOME Hope  ".... avenges me." 

Psalms = high VIEW of God, therefore high praise FOR God  (as should be)

But Note All this = before Christ!!!  before incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection.  Before additional knowledge, revelation.

Point:  IF the Psalms = appropriate before Christ, THEN ....... Now?!  after seeing Him come down, die for us, saving us from our sins.

BUT Know this:  God is not after your praise PRIMARILY. 
He is after your .... recognition, surrender, commitment, loyalty, obedience, service

Why???   "for His glory"
On one hand, He does seek to be glorified
On the other hand, it is not for Him!!!
Example:  Jesus' words - John 12:32 - "if I be lifted up..., will draw men to me"

So....... Worship Him For:
(1)  Who He is  (Worship due Him!!)
(2)  what He does  (past, present, future)
(3)  the good that will come TO MAN from that!!  (ie:  yourself, others)

Closing Scripture:  Psm. 100:3-5

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