Week Seventeen: Psalms 26-50

Read the Bible in a Year

This week, read: Psalms 26-50

 

 

At Least Know This

The Book of Psalms is the beautiful poetry of the Jews. Some psalms were sung in public services. Some psalms were sung for private edification. Some follow the rules of various kinds of Hebrew poetry. All Psalms proclaim the greatness of God.

 

Author and Date

The date of the psalms probably stretches the whole length of Jewish history. Some psalms are easy to date; for example, Psalm 137 dates from the time of the Babylonian Exile (587-538 BC). Others are not easily dated. 

Many of the Psalms have a superscription (an explanatory note at the beginning of the psalm). Some of the superscriptions are “A Psalm of David.” This does not mean that David wrote the Psalm. It can also be translated “A Psalm about David,” or “A Psalm Dedicated to David.” Probably, many people wrote psalms that describe events in David’s life. 

There are also superscriptions such as “To the Choirmaster.” Sometimes there are musical terms, like “Selah”; it is unclear what these terms mean—possibly something like “Now there will be a musical interlude.” 

 

Historical Situation 

Many of the psalms are written about famous events in the history of the Jews. Some are more personal. 

Some psalms (for example, Psalm 1) reflect the Deuteronomic code: “Obey God’s law, and you’ll be rewarded; Disobey God’s law and you’ll be punished.” 

Many of the psalms are cited by Jesus (for example, Psalm 22). Many are cited in other parts of the New Testament, such as Psalm 2 is cited in Hebrews. 

 

Important Passages

All the psalms are beautiful, and will speak to you differently depending on your life situation.

 

Some of the more famous chapters are:

·     Psalm 27 is a bold confidence in God.

·     Psalm 34 is a song of praise and deliverance.

·     Psalm 40 is a thanksgiving for God’s rescue, and a commitment to His service.

·     Psalm 42 is a prayer extolling the deep, rich relationship with God.

·     Psalm 46 is a song of reliance on God. Martin Luther borrowed heavily from this psalm as he wrote his hymns.

·     Psalm 47 is a song of praise. 

 

Watch for psalms that use the Deuteronomic code (obey God and you’ll become rich and powerful; but if you disobey God, you’ll be punished and afflicted. Watch, too, for the psalms that go against the Deuteronomic code.

 

We also run into the concept of Sheol, sometimes translated as “the pit,” as in Psalm 30:9. At this point in their history, the people didn’t have a concept of heaven or hell. They only talked of a place where people (and animals!) go when they die. It sounds like it wasn’t a sad place or a happy place… just a place. It wasn’t until Daniel 12 that we get a clearer image of an everlasting life with God (Daniel was the last book of the Old Testament to be written, probably in about 165 BC).

 

 

Faith Insights 

The Psalms reflect all kinds of situations. And the Psalms are typically songs to God. Some are thanksgiving, some are praise, some are comforting, some are pleas for help, some call curses down on enemies, some are laments (yelling at God). 

God hears all kinds of prayers, whether they are calling down curses, or yelling at God, or whether they are thanks and praise. The psalms show us that we can go to God in any mood, with any tone, for any reason. God doesn’t get mad if we yell at him, and he doesn’t get sad if we call curses on someone else. He is simply glad that we have approached the throne of grace in our time of need.

 

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If you run across a passage that you have questions about, feel free to post questions (or insights that you have received from the Bible reading), then please click here, and then click on the most recent reading guide. You can also feel free to email the question to me.

Our next face-to-face meeting is on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:30-7:45.  If you plan to attend, please let me know on Wednesday by noon or before.Read the Bible in a Year

This week, read: Psalms 26-50

 

 

At Least Know This

The Book of Psalms is the beautiful poetry of the Jews. Some psalms were sung in public services. Some psalms were sung for private edification. Some follow the rules of various kinds of Hebrew poetry. All Psalms proclaim the greatness of God.

 

Author and Date

The date of the psalms probably stretches the whole length of Jewish history. Some psalms are easy to date; for example, Psalm 137 dates from the time of the Babylonian Exile (587-538 BC). Others are not easily dated. 

Many of the Psalms have a superscription (an explanatory note at the beginning of the psalm). Some of the superscriptions are “A Psalm of David.” This does not mean that David wrote the Psalm. It can also be translated “A Psalm about David,” or “A Psalm Dedicated to David.” Probably, many people wrote psalms that describe events in David’s life. 

There are also superscriptions such as “To the Choirmaster.” Sometimes there are musical terms, like “Selah”; it is unclear what these terms mean—possibly something like “Now there will be a musical interlude.” 

 

Historical Situation 

Many of the psalms are written about famous events in the history of the Jews. Some are more personal. 

Some psalms (for example, Psalm 1) reflect the Deuteronomic code: “Obey God’s law, and you’ll be rewarded; Disobey God’s law and you’ll be punished.” 

Many of the psalms are cited by Jesus (for example, Psalm 22). Many are cited in other parts of the New Testament, such as Psalm 2 is cited in Hebrews. 

 

Important Passages

All the psalms are beautiful, and will speak to you differently depending on your life situation.

 

Some of the more famous chapters are:

·     Psalm 27 is a bold confidence in God.

·     Psalm 34 is a song of praise and deliverance.

·     Psalm 40 is a thanksgiving for God’s rescue, and a commitment to His service.

·     Psalm 42 is a prayer extolling the deep, rich relationship with God.

·     Psalm 46 is a song of reliance on God. Martin Luther borrowed heavily from this psalm as he wrote his hymns.

·     Psalm 47 is a song of praise. 

 

Watch for psalms that use the Deuteronomic code (obey God and you’ll become rich and powerful; but if you disobey God, you’ll be punished and afflicted. Watch, too, for the psalms that go against the Deuteronomic code.

 

We also run into the concept of Sheol, sometimes translated as “the pit,” as in Psalm 30:9. At this point in their history, the people didn’t have a concept of heaven or hell. They only talked of a place where people (and animals!) go when they die. It sounds like it wasn’t a sad place or a happy place… just a place. It wasn’t until Daniel 12 that we get a clearer image of an everlasting life with God (Daniel was the last book of the Old Testament to be written, probably in about 165 BC).

 

 

Faith Insights 

The Psalms reflect all kinds of situations. And the Psalms are typically songs to God. Some are thanksgiving, some are praise, some are comforting, some are pleas for help, some call curses down on enemies, some are laments (yelling at God). 

God hears all kinds of prayers, whether they are calling down curses, or yelling at God, or whether they are thanks and praise. The psalms show us that we can go to God in any mood, with any tone, for any reason. God doesn’t get mad if we yell at him, and he doesn’t get sad if we call curses on someone else. He is simply glad that we have approached the throne of grace in our time of need.

 

--------

If you run across a passage that you have questions about, feel free to post questions (or insights that you have received from the Bible reading), then please click here, and then click on the most recent reading guide. You can also feel free to email the question to me.

Our next face-to-face meeting is on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at 6:30-7:45.  If you plan to attend, please let me know on Wednesday by noon or before.