Free Essay Example. The Book of Psalms

Published: 2023-04-04
Free Essay Example. The Book of Psalms
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  God Christianity Bible Books
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 1968 words
17 min read

The book of psalms is a collection of hymns, prayers, and poems that expresses the religious feelings of the Jews people during different periods of their national history. Currently, the book is divided into five parts: Psalms, 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, and 107-150 (Hunter, 2005). The intrinsic beauty of the sentiments and the poems that they set out have led to their appreciation. The psalms have been adopted and used in Christian churches, synagogues, and Jewish temples. In truth, the book of plasms plays a significant role in helping people understand the religious life of ancient Israel. The sages and the prophets give insights to the thoughts of the Hebrews during specific times; however, the psalms exhibits properly what the Hebrews felt. As such, we find in the book pf plasms the revelation of joys, hopes, doubts, aspirations, sorrows, and loyalties of the human heart.

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Critical Issues

The book of psalms contains 116 plasms that have titles. Looking not the plasms individually and generally studying them as a whole there is a significant indication that they were appended to their respective plasms shortly after composition, as they encompass reliable information (Futato, 2007). The superscriptions communicate different forms of information, including authorship, historical event, liturgical instruction, and dedication. The plasms author from the divine perspective is God. As such, the psalms were written by people who were inspired by God. Therefore, approaching authors from the human view, the plasms was written by more than seven authors. According to Futato (2007) posits that at least 73 of the 150 Psalms were written by King David. Moses is credited for writing Psalm 90; Asaph, 3psalms, that is plasms 50, 73-83; Solomon, 2 Psalms 72 and 127; Heman, I plasms that is Plasms 88; Ethan, 1 Psalm (Psalm 89). Besides these six authors, 10 psalms are credited to The Sons of Korah (Psalms 42, 44-49, 84, 85, 87) even though they were performers instead of composers (Futato, 2007). The remaining 61 psalms composers' are not known.

In this light, the book of Psalms is a collection of a broadly divergent range of hymns owing to differences in composers' perceptions. In such a collection of Plasms, it is inevitable to have a different range of dates. Ranking from the oldest, Plasm 90 written by Moses is dated between around 1400 B.C; this period is referred to as Postexilic Plasms, which means about 1000 years (Rowe, 2002). Psalm 126 the most current was composed in the early fifth century or late sixth century B.C. which is referred to as the post-Exilic period.

The plasms were written by different authors in divergent periods. As such, the psalms were written on different occasions. For instance, a psalm praises God of Israel for defending his people in the country of Judah from the Assyrian invasion. The army of Assyria suddenly withdrew from Jerusalem without destroying the city was time for immense triumph. A number of some were written at the same time, for instance, Psalms 10, 13, 14 and 14 were written during the Babylonian captivity. Psalms 137 was composed during the time of Babylonian captivity in which the composer is discouraged by the fate that befell Israel when Jews were taken into captivity by a foreign nation "By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion". In this psalm, the author pleads "My God, My God why have you forsaken me?" Plasms 3, 4 and 5 were composed during the time of David's flight from his son Absalom. Psalm 9 was written around 1063 B.C during David's victory over Goliath of Gath. As such, all the psalms were written during specific periods and conveys the feelings and history of the Hebrews during those days.

Literature Structure

The literary structure of the book of Psalms is twofold (Rowe, 2002). It addresses the history of God and his acts in creation and the history of Israel. As such, it presents two ways of life: the way of the wicked and the way of the righteous. Nonetheless, the primary idea is the supremacy of God's Word the fruitfulness of the righteous who are devoted to teachings. In essence, two enormous meaning is derived from this: first, the significance and total need of the scripture, and the character change, fruitfulness, and stability, which are promised to people who resolve to make the scripture the foundation of their lives. For instance, Psalms 1 verse 6, states that "The righteous are guided and protected by the Lord, but the evil is on the way to their doom. Therefore, there is the way of the godly and their blessedness in contrast to the way of the ungodly. Hence, plasms use contrast to set out its message, that is, there are two open ways of life to people. On one hand, the way means fruitfulness, happiness, and blessedness. On the other hand, it means judgment, cursedness, and unhappiness. People, have to make choices as to be blessed one must obey by faith these requirements and pursue the way of righteousness. The Plasms contrast words such as wicked and righteousness.

The Books of Psalms Summary

In summary, the book of Psalms is an astonishing compilation of Jewish poetry that focuses on prayer, worship, and praise of God for being faithful to Israel and particular authors in the past. Its genre comprises songs and poetry of many forms. It is written by many composers such as David who wrote 73, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Solomon, Ethan, and Moses, while some remain unknown. The Plasms were written for a time spanning a millennium, starting from the time of Moses 1440 BC to 586 B.C. The book of Psalms is divided into five sections. It is the longest book in the bible and encompasses Psalms 119 the longest chapter in the bible; while psalms 117 in the middle of all chapters in the bible.

The Psalms comprise laments, thanksgiving, blessings, and praise of joy. Plasms 1 acts as the introduction to the book which shows the advantages of leading a righteous life that including being blessed through prayer. As such, most of the plasms are aimed toward God through prayers using phrases like "Listen to my words, Lord" (Ps. 5:2), "Lord do not rebuke me in your anger" (Ps. 6:1), "Answer me when I call (Ps. 4:1). As such, they help people communicate and express themselves to God. It shows the author's feeling from one end to another, from worshipping with dedication, praising, and in delighting in God, to crying out him in despair and repentance.

The core theme in the Psalms is worshipping God. The book cites many reasons to engage in worship. For instance, God is worshipped because of His, glory in creation; the heavens declare the glory of the Lord, and the expanse proclaim the work of his hands" (Ps. 19:1), for His magnificence (Ps: 8:1), for His wondrous work, and for providing victory (Ps. 21:1). Other major themes include God's power, truth, thankfulness, forgiveness, and praise. Besides, most of the psalms exhibit the psalmists' intense sense of frustration and anguish, which is as a result of rejection by God. Further, the Psalms provide messianic hope to the Hebrews, starting from Gods decree that "you are my son; today I have become your Father", which progresses via the enormous crucifixion Psalm (Ps. 22, 72), and lastly showing the eternal reign of Jesus Christ (Ps. 146:10).

The Psalms were written to assist the Hebrews to worship God who is worthy of such. It taught people to meditate upon the Lord's word day and night and it gives a lot of information to use during praise, worship, and prayers. There is an appropriate psalm for every season irrespective of any life situation such as joyful gain or dep loss, victory or betrayal, a time of celebration or a time of confusion. Moreover, the Psalms help people know what God wants in their lives and that answer can only be found in the scriptures. Thus, people should read his word, study it, and apply its never altering truths to their life.

Place in the Storyline of the Bible

The books of Psalms is in the middle of the bible. It has been significant in biblical times and the history of the church through the centuries. According to Robert (2004), psalms are one of the two books from the old testament that are regularly quoted in the new covenant. The other is the book of Isaiah. Therefore, the Lord reveals Himself in the book of Plasms as the one to fulfill the messianic prophecies of the book. Jesus in his debate with the Pharisees cited Psalm 110 to indicate that King David spoke of him in the Psalms (Matt. 22:43-44). Besides, Jesus uttered the first sentence of Psalm 22 when he was crucified (Matt. 27:46). Moreover, in their writing and preaching the apostles quoted from the book of Psalms as proof that the savior was promised in the Old Testament (Robert, 2004). As such, the book of Plasms is of great imperative in the biblical storyline.

In the history of the church through the centuries, the Psalms played a key role in worshipping and praising. In the book of 1 Timothy 4:13, Paul describes reading of the scripture as a primary component of worshipping among the congregation of saints. Thus, singing of the hymns from the book of psalms shows that it was crucial in the church Worship experience (Robert, 2004). Today, the book of Psalms essentially contributes to the worship of the church. For instance, modern church hymns are full of the Psalms in paraphrased or quoted form. As such, the psalms have inspired many songs.

In exploring the reasons why the Psalms have been primary top the development of modern church over the ages. Robert (2004) posits that it is because they speak to people. It is surprising how a reader's innermost feeling, hopes, and fears are expressed in psalms despite its authors having live in a different culture and time. In essence, this is because the psalms are infallible, inerrant, and divinely inspired. Hence, they are God's word to the people. The psalms address the needs of the reader no matter their life situations. As such, most Psalms reader's needs are met satisfactorily as if they were exclusively written for their sake, and in a method that they cannot enhance them nor desire or find any better words. Further, the Psalm was written at a time when Israel was between the initiation of God's kingdom and its culmination. Robert (2004) argues that modern Christians are living in the same situation. Jesus came to the world as Israel messiah and our savior; yet, he ascended to the Father to prepare a place for us. As such, Christians are waiting for culmination time.

The book of Psalms has a special place in the bible's storyline. Robert (2004) points out that this is because most of the bible scripture speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us. Therefore, many Christians have found the psalms to speak for them and have prayed the words of a psalm providing the best expression of their desires. Moreover, the Psalms speak for people in deep adversity and despair (Anderson, 2000). Further, Robert (2004) argues that psalms provide us with a passage to pray and reflect, and with a pattern for prayer and worship. Thus, the psalms teach Christians how to pray and it exhibits how saints communicate with God. Lastly, the Psalms express moods that all Christians find themselves in, including suffering, joy, care, and hope.

Major Themes and Theological Message

The book of Psalms has several leading themes. One of the themes of the book is meditating on the word of God (Bell, 2018). For example, the longest verse in the bible is Psalms 119, which speaks of the composer's love for the word of God and all that it can achieve. In the introduction of the book, chapter one urges people to meditate upon the word of God, in doing this their lives will be blessed, fruitful and will experience happiness. Another, the main theme is that the life people are living is hard but with God everything is possible.

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