The Books of Psalms is found near the center of our Christian Bible and contains 150 poetic songs. The Psalms express the entire spectrum of human experience and emotion: fear and confidence, despair and delight, longing and fulfillment, love and hate, hope and futility, joy and sadness. They cover topics of war, peace, worship, judgment, prophecy, adoration, and lament. The Psalms instruct us how we can voice our own prayers and praise to God. Actress Helen Hayes (1900-1993) said: I never feel satisfied with my own made-up prayers. So I often turn to the Psalms. They are my favorites. They roar and sing. They never sweet-talk or whine. They provide me with sustenance as they have countless other believers through the ages.
Psalms is the longest book in the Old Testament (“OT”) and the most popular OT book for many Christians. It is quoted in the New Testament over 100 times and alluded to more than 300 times. The Psalms were gradually collected by the Jews over time, directly inspired by God and kept uncontaminated by His special care and providence. The Book of Psalms was the God-given hymnbook for Christ and His earliest followers. That makes them very precious to us.
Jesus taught us that the whole OT, including the Psalms, pointed to Him and is to be understood in a Christ-centered way. Martin Luther described Psalms as “The Bible within the Bible or the Bible in miniature,” covering all the big themes of Scripture.
Please study the Psalms with us, asking the Lord Jesus to give us burning hearts for Him as He teaches us opens the Scriptures to us.
1 Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:16-17; Westminster Confession of Faith (1.8).