The Book of Psalms, or as is most commonly called, Psalms. A book of poems, stories, prayers and songs, it was known as a psalter.
There are 150 psalms in the Christian Bible. The is one psalm in the Apocrypha, Psalm 151, which is extremely short and a concise summary of David’s childhood. There is nothing in it that is not in many other places through the Old Testament, a reason it may have been excluded but not of point here.
There are a million things we could talk about when discussing Psalms; don’t worry, we’re not, at least not today. Let’s talk about why God gave us them.
Let me remind you, I am not an educated, degreed theologian. What I write here is what I hear in the Gospel and what I’m guided to write, praying I’m not misleading you.
In these very early days, the average, let alone less than average person, did not read or own books. Heritage, history, and memories were passed down by word of mouth, song, dance, and symbols. People memorized what was important, and that memory work began at a very early age; something we have lost in this day and age.
Also, in those days with various types of war and enslavement, individuals were frequently physically mistreated, harshly, for their beliefs. To prevent this, they would keep their beliefs on the inside, only sharing in word with known like believers. What better way to help so many people, so many disenfranchised, uneducated, unsettled people learn the history and promises of God than with poems and songs (Psalms).
Probably the most important thing to see in Psalms is Jesus! Wait! Hold the presses! Psalms is OT, Jesus ain’t born yet!!!!!! You are absolutely correct, but the promise of the Messiah has been made. Here’s some examples of where the Old and New Testaments line up perfectly. (All use NIV)
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ps 2:7
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Mt 3:17
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. Ps 16:10
Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. Acts 2:31
So it is also stated elsewhere: “‘You will not let your holy one see decay.’ Acts 13:35
And there are many others. The faithful of the time and today understand that in the good times, the Psalms give you peace in troubled times and guidance in time of darkness. It helps us see that a shepherd boy, the 99-lb weakling for a visual image when compared to his brothers, yet the favored of his father, perhaps because he was the last, can grow up to be a King. It shows us that God gets that His chosen ones make mistakes (David lied, committed murdered and adultery), suffered at times with depression (my words) and lust, and yet was forgiven, unconditionally by the one who had called him.
David had, even through his darkest times, faith. He knew God was present. He never doubted God would hear his cries. He understood he did not know God’s timetable. He recognized that we may not be able to see the Messiah, but that He was coming and we would all have eternal faith. He never asked for proof. He never said, “if you do this” or “because you did that”, he just sang and talked because he had the faith of a child and sought for his father.
Let’s close today with the beginning of Psalm 62 (HCSB), verses 1 & 2.
I am at rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will never be shaken.
Be blessed! 💕