Walking Thru The Bible

Old Testament -- Psalms

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             Walking Thru The Bible

          A.  The Hebrew title of the Psalms (sepher tehillim) means "book of
                        praises."  The Greek version of the OT bears the title Psalmoi,
                        from this we get the English title, "Psalms."

           1. The Psalms were for the Jewish nation both prayer book and
                        hymnbook.  It is, of course, the longest book of the Bible.

           2. The book was originally organized as five volumes, with
                        each volume closing with a doxology psalm.  The last (Psa
                        150) forms an appropriate doxology for the entire book.

                Book I     contains Psalms 1-41
                Book II    contains Psalms 41-72
                Book III   contains Psalms 73-89
                Book IV   contains Psalms 90-106
                Book V    contains Psalms 107-150

           3. It seems likely since certain psalms appear in more than one
                        collection, that each book was complied somewhat
                        independently. (e.g. Psa.14 and part of Psa.40 of Book I
                        appear as Psa.53 and Psa.70 in Book II; and the latter halves
                        of Psa.57 and Psa.60 of Book II appear as Psa.108 in Book
          B.  AUTHORSHIP

           1. ONE is ascribed to Moses, Psa.90.

           2. SEVENTY-THREE are ascribed to David.

                Book I consists wholly of David's songs; his name
                             prefixed to all except 1 & 2, which are the preface;
                             10 which is a part of 9; and 33 which appears as an
                             example of the last verse of Psa.32.

                Book II eight psalms, 51-65 and 68-70.

                Book III one psalms, 86.

                Book IV two, 101, 103.

                Book V fifteen, 108-110, 122, 124,131,133, 138-145.

           3. TWO are ascribed to Solomon, that is, "to" or "for" him, (72
                          & 127).  Psa.72:1,20 indicates that it was written by
                          David, as a prayer for divine guidance of his son
                          Solomon.  If 127 was likewise written by David for
                          Solomon it is forecasting the building of the Temple.  If
                          it was written by Solomon, it reflects the building of it 
                          (Cf. I Kings 8 and I Kings 4:32).

           4. ELEVEN Psalms are ascribed "to" or "for" the "Sons of
                          Korah" whose names are not recorded.  Psa.42, 44-49,
                          84, 85, 87, 88.  Korah's children did not all perish with
                          him (I Chron. 6:22, 27; 9:19; 26:1; 2 Chron. 20:19). 
                          They were eminent musicians at the time of David and

           5. TWELVE are ascribed to Asaph, a celebrated Levite, and
                          Chief of the choirs of Israel in the time of David (I
                          Chron.16:4,5).  Psa.50, 73-83. Asaph is a combination
                          poet and the philosopher.  His subject matter is doctrinal
                          and perspective.  His style is more vehement than

           6. ONE EACH is ascribed to the sages of Heman and Ethan,
                          who were the sons of Zerah (I Chron. 2:6), and
                          flourished during the captivity. Psa. 88, 89. However
                          Psa.88 is also connected with the sons of Korah.

           7. TWENTY-FOUR  have no inscription of any kind.

                Book I     -- 1, 2, 10, 33
                Book II    -- 43, 71
                Book IV   -- 91, 93-97, 99, 104, 105
                Book V    -- 107, 114-119, 136, 137
                (The New Testament writers attribute certain of these to
                          David: Psa.2 in Acts 4; and Psa. 95 in Heb.3 & 4).
          C.  Classification of the Psalms according to Subject.

           1. Prayers-- For pardon of sin; under affliction and
                          persecution; relative to public worship expressing trust
                          in God; declaring the psalmists' integrity;for defeat of

           2. Thanksgiving-- For mercies shown.

           3. Psalms of Praise-- Declaring God's goodness and mercy;
                          declaring God's power, majesty, and glory.

           4. Psalms and Instruction--  Showing the blessings of God's
                          people and the misery of His enemies; the excellence of
                          God's law; the vanity of human life without God.

           5. Prophetical and Typical Psalms--  (Messianic, etc.)

           6. Historical Psalms--  The creation (8:5); Covenant
                          established with Abraham (105:9-11); Deliverance from
                          Egypt (78 & 105).
          D.  Superscriptions:

           An interesting and difficult feature of the book of Psalms are the
                     explanatory notes attached to the individual psalms.

           1. "For the Chief Musician."  This note is attached to fifty-five
          psalms.  It refers to the leaders of the temple singers and so is
          translated "choirmaster" by the RSV.  "To the Choirmaster" would
          mean instructions to the choirmaster as to how the particular psalms
          was to be sung.  Thus in the RSV of Psa.4 we have a clear statement
          of directions: "To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments," i.e.,
          this psalms is to be sung with stringed instruments.  This shows the
          psalms was specially meant for the Temple (tabernacle) worship.

           2. "Song of Degrees"  (Psa. 120-134).  The ASV and RSV
          translate this "Song of Ascents."  It refers undoubtedly to a group of
          psalms that were sung by the Jews on their way up to Jerusalem to
          keep the annual feasts (cf. Psa. 122:1-4).

           3. "Maskil"  This term is found at the top of thirteen psalms. 
          The word means "instructions" and denotes these psalms as didactic
          (teaching) in nature.

           4. "Michtam"  (Ps. 16, 56-60)  The meaning of this term is
          unknown.  In rabbinical writings it is taken to mean "a golden poem."

           5. "On Neginoth" This word appears with six psalms and
          means "with stringed instruments."  The ASV and RSV have greatly
          helped their readers by giving this translation.

           6. "Upon Nehiloth" means "on wind instruments," probably

           7. Other terms:

              a.   There are many other unfamiliar terms also-- for
          example, Psa.9 "upon Muth-labbed" ("Death of the Son") this means
          "set to the tune of a song entitled Muthlabben.

              b.   "Selah"  occurs seventy-one times, but its precise
          meaning remains unknown.  The word seems to mean "to raise up"
          and could be instructions for crescendo, or for the lifting the hand to
          silence to allow a musical interlude, etc.


           The Psalms express the "heartbeat" or the outpouring of the
          emotions and personal feelings of God's people.  Men and women
          everywhere can identify their lot in life with that of the psalmists.     
          The Psalms tend to display and illustrate the character of our
          LORD and to enforce the character which His servants are called
          upon to display.

           In every experience of our own, no matter how deep the pain or
          great the frustration or how exhilarating the joy, we can find psalms
          which echo our innermost thoughts; psalms which God used to bring
          comfort or to confirm to us that He understands.

           The Psalms were used in public worship and private devotions in
          both ages.  In them we share every thought and feeling with our

- - - SERMON - - - 

		 "Let Us Go Into The House of the Lord"
                                           Psalms 122:1
          1.  We see in these words the pleasure which David took in approaching
                        the house of the Lord for worship unto his God. 

          2.  It is God's will and command that we worship Him in public worship. 
                        Acts 2;42, 46; 11:26; 20:7; Heb. 10:24-25.
          I.  THE CALL TO WORSHIP-- "Let us go into the house of the Lord."

          A.  WHY WORSHIP?  Why have we assembled this morning?

           1. Because it is a natural and necessary thing for man to do.

           2. Because worship makes the worshiper like the things he worships. 
                        2 Cor. 3:18

           3. Because in worship we are reminded of values which the world
                        makes us forget.  Heb. 11:1.

           4. Because worship is an experience that rebukes the sin in one's life. 
                        Psalms 42:2;  84:2.

           1. "Religion: is re-tieing man to God. ["Religion" is from the root of
                        the word "ligament."]  Worship is the celebration of our religion.

           2. Our Worship strengthens our religion.  It reminds us what God has
                        done for us...   It reminds us of our relationship... It reminds us of
                        power available...  It renews our commitment ....
          II. THE PLACE OF WORSHIP -- "Let us go into the house of the Lord."

          A.  God's house in the O.T. was the temple -- 1 Kings 8:27

          B.  God's house is His church -- 1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 2:22; 1 Pet.2:5
          III. THE SPIRIT OF WORSHIP --"I was glad when they said unto me..."

          A.  David sure it did him good to "go into the house of the Lord."

          B.  True spirit of worship demands reverence-- Ps.89:7. Heb.12:28.

          C.  The worship of the apostolic Christian was truly an offering of the 
                    heart-- I Cor. 14:15; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Heb. 10:22

           1. Worship should be a happy, joyful, uplifting experience.

          A.  On God's account -- 1 Peter 3:12

          B.  On Christ's account -- Matt. 18:20

          C.  For the sake of the church -- I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30

          D.  For our own sake -- Matthew  6:33

          1.  Let us say with David, "I was glad when ... "
          2.  The church says in the words of Moses, "Come thou with us, and we
                        will do thee good."  (Num. 10:29).

-- Windell Gann -- Walking Thru the Bible --

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