Studies from the Book of Psalms
Before you begin...
Over the centuries, no other piece of anient literature has held such attraction to the human heart as the
Psalms. Even though the songs and poems which comprise this book were written between 1500 adn 450 B.C., they still stimulate
genuine praise toward God adn give comfort to people all over the world today.
The psalm went through many revisions before final compilation some time after the Jewish exile. David is
generally ascribed with authorship of at least 73 Psalms, the Levitical clans of Asaph and Korah with 23, Solomon with two,
and Heman, Ethan and Moses, one each. This leaves 49 Psalms with uncertain authorship. While the OT books of Genesis through
Esther record the history of God's revelation to Israel, the Psalms record Israel's response to God's revelation. It must
be remembered, however, that these writings were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16), making the Psalms
also God's revelation of His true character to us.
The writers of the Psalms addressed issues in the various periods in which they lived, dealt with all kinds
of life circumstances, and displayed many different responses toward God. They talked to God about everything happening in
their lives and responded to Him with their deepest emotions. As a result of their authentic application of religious experience
to daily life, the Psalms possess a timeless quality. The book of Psalms directs the heart toward communion with God and a
true opening of the heart to Him. And this, as we will see in our study, gives enduring reasons to celebrate.
Celebration seems to be a need of the heart. Our hearts yearn to rejoice, and we each set out on a human pilgrimage
seeking happiness in the experiences of life. But we all eventually come to the realization that life does not always unfold
as we imagine it will. There comes a day for all of us when we realize exciting plans or hopes don't always come true, or
if they do, their satisfaction is only temporary. It is easy then to become immersed in discontent, regrets, disappointment,
and resentment toward God, other people and ourselves. These powerful feelings can drain a spirit of celebration completely
out of our lives.
The Psalms were written by real people who faced all of these feelings. They struggled with resentment, failures,
fear, confusion, despair, anger, hurt, and much disappointment. But as they took these feelings to God, He gave them new hope
and lasting reasons to celebrate even amidst the discouragements of life. Through these beautiful songs and poems of antiquity,
we will discover that the reasons God gives us to celebrate, far from being stolen by the disappointments of life, are often
discovered and embraced most deeply in times of hardship.
As we embark on our study in the Psalms, we will be looking for causes to rejoice that stand the test of time
and provide present help and future hope; reasons to celebrate that fulfill the human heart at its place of deepest need.