Exploring the Psalms
Why Are They Unique?
How Should We Use Them?
The Power of the Paraphrase
More About Getting Started
Coupling With Prayer
More Going Deeper
More Going Deeper II
In seeking to explore more of the wonderful
character and nature of God, I have found the Psalms indispensable.
What are the
The original Greek word meant ‘songs sung to
the accompaniment of stringed instruments’. We are reminded of that fact
by the various titles or superscriptions associated with many of them,
such as “Selah” and “For the choir director.” (Psalm 54, for example)
They are prayers
The collection of the Psalms is divided into five books, each ending with
a doxology. When we look at the note following the end of Book II (Psalms
42-72), we find it says “The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended”
(Ps. 72:20 KJV). Book IV begins with Psalm 90, the oldest in the entire
collection, carrying the title “A Prayer of Moses, the man of God.” So
some have suggested ‘Prayers’ as a more appropriate title for the Psalms.
Martin Luther saw in the Psalms a school of prayer. The standard Hebrew
title, however, is a word meaning ‘praises.’
They are poetry
We recognize that the Psalms are
poetry, and although we find poetry several other places in scripture,
there are few where it is directed to God as the Psalms are. We can think
of the songs of Moses and Miriam in the book of Exodus, along with Mary’s
Magnificat, the prophecy of Zacharias and a few others, but nowhere else
are they concentrated and extensive as they are here.