Introduction to Psalms

The book of Psalms (“Praises” in Hebrew) is a collection of 150 songs compiled by several authors over a thousand-year period! King David wrote approximately half of them while Asaph, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Heman, Ethan and even Moses wrote some. There are 48 psalms that are anonymous. There are five main books within Psalms that seem to indicate they were separate for a time. It’s important to note that there are different types of psalms: hymns, laments, thanksgiving, royal psalms, enthronement psalms, penitential psalms, wisdom psalms, etc. The Psalms were written with the intention of a certain tune or musical accompaniment. The intention of Psalms is an expression of praise to God! It is an emotional journey that gives an idea of how to respond to God.

QT – Psalm 150

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heaven.”  It is finished….Yes….it is finished.  We started Psalm 1 on June 1st and now here are nearly November.  I wanted to let you all know we will be going forward to the New Testament to Romans 1.  Hallelujah (Praise the Lord…PTL!)….it is a wonderful way to wrap up our series in the book of Psalms!  We PTL for His work in our life, We PTL with our instruments, and we PTL with our voices!

Regarding application…Let Everything.  Vs. 6, “Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.  Praise the LORD.”  The key word to this is “Let”….with the reality that it is not a command but a deceleration.  It is our choice if we choose to make the decision to PTL.  God does not force us and we are condemned if we don’t everyday.  We were created for many things in this world…but don’t ever take for granted the privilege it is to PTL the Lord daily!  By turning to Him, our big problems of today begin to get smaller because we realize that God is with Us!

QT – Psalm 149

Vs. 6, “May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hand.”  This is considered an exuberant praise psalm and rightly so!  They would sing this psalm before going out to battle.  We are to sing in all walks of life…whether we are in the church, we are in the battlefields of life, or just driving home from school…singing is a powerful tool!

Regarding application…Singing to God.  Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints.”  Sometimes I find myself enjoying singing the old praise songs.  There is something comforting in singings songs I already know.  However, there is a joy in discovering and singing new songs!  I can’t imagine life without singing.  It’s the one instrument that we don’t have to carry around.  I remember when my mom made me take band my 6th grade year, I had to carry the saxophone everyday to school and I walked 5 miles uphill both ways (it’s really about 3/4 of a mile :P).  But, thankfully God gave us an instrument we never have to forget or pay extra for!  

QT – Psalm 148

Vs. 14, “He has raised up for his people a horn, the praise of all his saints, of Israel, the people close to his heart.  Praise the LORD.”  This psalm is known as a wisdom/creation Psalm.  All the heaven’s and God’s creation praise the Lord.  We are not the only creation by God that praises His name.  As you look at the beauty of this earth we live on, you can’t help but realize that the beauty of God’s creation sings declares Him.  But most importantly, the creation that was created in His image sings out to God because He draws us close to Him.

Regarding application…All People PTL.  Vs. 12, “young men and maidens, old men and children.”  Praising the Lord isn’t something just Youth or adults participate in.  Praising the Lord encompasses all people….children, youth, adults and elderly.  At CTC church, on Good Friday this past year, we had a combined worship service that invited all ages to come.  At first, we were going to exclude the children from this.  Fortunately, we made the decision to have all come and we all were very blessed because of it.  Families brought their parents, parents brought their little ones and we all worshiped the Lord Jesus together!  It was a blessed night of all people doing what we were created to do: PTL!

QT – Psalm 147

Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!”  This declarative praise psalm is believed to have been written after the Babylonian exiles returned to Jerusalem.  Not only does praise bring glory to God, it benefits those who praise Him.  He heals the brokenhearted (vs. 3), He sustains us (vs. 6), and He brings hope to our lives (vs. 11).  It was an appropriate reminder as God’s people had such an evident testimony of God working in their lives.  

Regarding application…God Reveal’s His Word.  Vs. 19, “He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel.”  It was His word that created us back in Genesis and it His word that sustains us now!  Sometimes I wonder why we have to eat so often…with life so busy, it would be nice to just eat once a day.  But, God created us with a need to eat throughout the day.  Likewise, God created us not to just read His word once in awhile.  God created us to read His word daily and meditate on it throughout the day.  Give thanks to the Lord today for how His word reminds us of His faithfulness in each of your lives!  

QT – Psalm 146

Vs. 2, “I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”  PTL…The last five Psalms start with Praise the Lord (Hallelujah).  This is a call to praise the Lord and stop putting our focus on other things.  They say that praising God is evidence of the life we have in Christ.  Praising God also shows the faith that we have in him (vs. 3-4).  And lastly, praising God displays the hope that we have no matter the circumstances (vs. 5-7).

Regarding application…Trusting In People.  Vs. 3, “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.”  Sometimes we have the tendency to put our trust in people of this world.  Think of all the praises and trust that people were putting in President Obama.  Even one day we will have the anti-Christ come and many people will put their trust in him.  Who are we trusting in?  As much as some people are there for us, they cannot save us…only Jesus can do that.  So let’s start this week putting in our trust in the Lord.  Let’s let Him give us the heart of Christ!

QT – Psalm 145

Vs. 3, “Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.” Ahhhh…what a nice change of pace as we go to a declarative psalm of praise. Reading this Psalm today, I had the overwhelming desire to praise the Lord! We are reminded of God’s greatness, grace, goodness, glory and generosity. David reminded us that we are going to praise God forever, so we better get used to it! When we praise the Lord, we bear witness to the church and to the world (vs. 4-7).

Regarding application…Slow to Anger. Vs. 8, “The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.” If this sounds familiar, it’s because there are several instances in the Word of God that have this phrase. When I think about this…I realize how fortunate I am that God showed His compassion to me through all my rebellious years. This reminds me that since God was slow to anger, I must be slow to anger. When we talk with people, anger is not a sin…but we must be slow to anger. How is your anger management in your life today?

QT – Psalm 144

Vs. 15, “Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.” This is considered a descriptive psalms written by David. It is believed that this was used to help stir the troops getting ready for battle. Even though our lives may be short (vs 4), we want to stand up and battle for the Lord! And there are so many battles in our lives, huh? The battle for salvation, the battle for restored relationships in the family, the battle for education, the battle for your future and how God desires to use you, the battle of temptation. So many battles…

Regarding application…God is our Fortress. Vs. 2, “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples [a] under me.” I remember being a little kid, I used to play war with my friends. We would construct these elaborate fortresses made of chairs and blankets. We would throw toys and makeshift bombs at each other hoping to destroy their man-made fortress. Thankfully, we do not have a man-made fortress, we have a fortress built by God! Don’t get easily discouraged brothers & sisters when the attacks of the enemy seem to be winning. Stand up and have courage, for God is on our side!

QT – Psalm 143

Vs. 1, “O LORD, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief.” Another psalm of lament that is very similar to Psalm 6 we read long ago. Once again we remember that there are certainly struggles in this life. David took the time to remember good old days (vs. 4-6)…it’s never a bad thing to have good memories. And then David asks the Lord to help deliver him from his current struggles. While some of you may be getting tired of this theme…need I remind you that we are still battling everyday of our lives. Kudos to David who acknowledged such dependence! We would do well to do the same.

Regarding application…Teach Us Lord. Vs. 10, “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit laad me on level ground.” As I get older in this life, one thing I’ve realized is that it’s hard to learn new things. Take a child growing up in a family that speak two languages. It’s much easier as a child to be fluent in both then to learn a new language as we get older. But, each and everyday…we must be willing students before our Lord. We must not be lazy (I need to work on this) and sit at the school of our Lord. They say it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks (I should try this on Frankie now that he is getting older). But, we don’t have that excuse in our lives. Let the Lord teach you today!

QT – Psalm 142

Vs. 1, “I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.” Have you ever felt alone? Than this psalm of lament that David wrote is for you. This is considered one of David’s cave psalm’s as he wrote this when he was hiding out and on the run. Though David was in despair, by writing out his thoughts…notice how his emotion goes from down to up.

Regarding application…We are not Strong Enough. Vs. 6, ” Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.” No matter how strong we try to get…both physically, mentally, spiritually…we will never be strong enough. There will always be someone who can beat us. That is why we need to put our dependence upon the Lord. Only when we are weak is He able to be stronger in our lives. Remember the song, Stronger…”You are stronger, sin is broken You have saved me.”