Main Themes of the Book of Psalms

Psalms Overview

Who wrote the Book of Psalms and who did they write it to?

There are many authors of the book of Psalms, including Moses, David, Solomon, Asaph, the sons of Korah, and some anonymous authors.

When did the events in the Book of Psalms happen?

Psalms were likely written between 1440-430 BC

What was the setting of the Book of Psalms?

As Psalms were written over about 1000 years, their locations and settings vary greatly.

What is the purpose of the Book of Psalms?

  1. Book One (Psalms 1-41)
    • Mostly from David
  2. Book Two (Psalms 42-72)
  3. Book Three (Psalms 73-89)
  4. Book Four (Psalms 90-106)
  5. Book Five (Psalms 107-150)
    • Combination of David, anonymous authors, and ascents.

How does the Book of Psalms apply to my life?

  • The book of Psalms is a praise and worship book for God’s people that teaches God is worthy of all praise, honor, glory, and worship in all circumstances.
  • Psalms display that God will defend His people against their enemies in the ways and times that He knows are right.
  • Psalms express that being in a relationship with God is the key to joy and security in life.

What are the different types of Psalms?

Royal Psalms:

  • Emphasize that God is King
  • Uses phrases such as “the Lord reigns”
  • Addresses God’s role and Creator, Savior, and Coming One

Psalms of Zion:

  • Focuses on Jerusalem using its endearing name, Zion
  • Emphasizes God’s choice for the city as His Holy temple

Penitential Psalms:

  • Poems that confess sins to, ask for, and receive forgiveness from the Lord
  • Poems of praise to God for renewal of relationships and forgiveness

Wisdom Psalms:

  • Often focuses on the same issues throughout Proverbs
  • Provides clear descriptions of the differences between righteous and wicked
  • Addresses God’s blessing and curses, focusing primarily on righteous living
  • Includes some focus on the Torah, identifying the beauty, truth, and sufficiency of God’s Law
  • Includes some focus on creation and history
  • Often calls for believers to praise God, identifying Him as Creator and Savior
  • Seeks renewed commitment to God, often in times of disorder and rebellion

Imprecatory Psalms:

  • Prayers that ask God to curse the wicked often believed to conflict with the gospel but actually reflect God’s abhorrence for sin and evil

Passover Psalms:

  • Also called the joyful and prophetic Psalms
  • Were a part of the Passover celebration in Judaism
  • Focus on the events of God delivering the Israelites from Egypt
  • Point toward Jesus as our Savior and Deliverer

Hallel Psalms:

  • Praise God, His character, and His divine saving works

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