Bible History and the Psalms

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Introduction:

This summer we are undertaking a study in Bible History and the Psalms which we pray will be instructive, exciting, and profitable. Each week, the children and adults will consider a portion of Bible History and its significance for us. The adults will take their study further by considering a Psalm or Psalms that are applicable to the story.

The Psalms exclaim, "Sing to the Lord!" The Psalms are songs that were sung at many different times of a Christian’s life and under varying circumstances. Name a condition in a child of God’s life and there is a Psalm to fit it. Are you depressed? Sing to the Lord to lift your spirit! Are you fearful? Sing to the Lord who is your rock and fortress of protection. Are you grieved by your many sins? Sing to the Lord the dirge of confession and then be lifted up with the exultation of forgiveness. Are you happy and grateful for the outpouring of gracious blessings you receive? By all means, sing a song of thanksgiving! (Mary’s Magnificat is largely quotations from the Psalms).

James wrote, "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray (Psalms are prayers too). Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms" (James 5:13). In other words, at all times lift up your voices to the God of your salvation!

A Map of Where We Are Going

There will be 10 lessons during our Summer Bible Study this year. An outline of our summer study is as follows.

Sing to the Lord ~ Glorify His Name!

  1. Sing to the Triune God
    1. Glory to God the Father (June 13)
    2. Glory to God the Son (June 20)
    3. Glory to God the Holy Spirit (June 27)
  2. Let Nothing Stand in the Way of His Glory
    1. Beware of the Desire to be Rich (July 11)
    2. Beware of Self and Pride (July 18)
    3. Beware of Fear (July 25)
  3. Sing to All Generations
    1. Teach the Children (August 8)
    2. Build Your Home with the Lord (August 15)
  4. Glorify Him Now and Forever
    1. Our Lives are in God’s Hands (August 22)
    2. All Praise to God Eternally! (August 29)

A Brief Introductory Overview of the Psalms

The book of Psalms "is a collection of 150 spiritual songs in which the inspired poets of the Old Testament declared the great truth of the Gospel and expressed the thoughts and emotions which the Holy Ghost effected in their souls" (John Schaller, Book of Books, p. 51, NPH).

We don’t know who collected the various Psalms into one book, but they are clearly arranged in a careful order. Psalms can be divided into 5 books. Book I ~ Psalms 1-41; Book II ~ Psalms 42-72; Book III ~ Psalms 73-89; Book IV ~ Psalms 90-106; Book V ~ Psalms 107-150. Each book ends with a doxology.

There are 49 psalms who do not mention their authors, however among these are Psalm 2 and 95 which are ascribed to David by the New Testament (Acts 4:25, Hebrews 4:7). Of the 150 Psalms, David wrote 75. Other writers include Asaph, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Moses, and Ethan.

The Psalms can be divided by their content in a variety of ways. Very generally they fall into one of three categories: 1) songs of praise & thanksgiving; or 2) songs of sorrow, repentance, prayer; or 3) teaching songs. There are Messianic Psalms in all three categories.

 

Sing to the Lord ~ Glorify His Name
Bible History Text Psalm
All Praise to God Eternally! Numerous Psalms 145-150
Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter! Mark 5:21-43 Psalm 139
Story of Two Houses Matthew 7:24-29 (Luke 6:46-49) Psalms 127,128
Memorial Stones Joshua 3:1 - 4:24 Psalm 78
Elisha’s Fearful Servant 2 Kings 6:8-23 Psalms 57, 121, 124
King Nebuchadnezzar Daniel 4:1-37 Psalm 90
The Rich Farmer Luke 12:13-21 Psalm 49
Nicodemus Matthew 6:24-34; 10:29-31 Psalm 40
Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10 Psalm 51:1-19
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount John 3:1-21 Psalm 104