Sunday, 31 May 2020
Walking with God through Psalms
The Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon called Psalms the “Treasury”. The book of Psalms is a gold mine. (Samuel Whitefield). How should we go about discovering this treasure? There are many golden nuggets embedded in PSALMS. Psalms is very unique Book compare to the rest of the books of the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word speaking to us. Psalms is human responses to God in all its expressions of real life. In the Psalms we find honest, sometimes brutal, expressions of the human heart. The songs and poems express the highest joy and the deepest pain and sorrow. The authors plead with God, shout at God, and beg God for forgiveness. The writers exalt virtues and righteousness, and they condemn with harshness the ugly abuses people sometimes carry out. Psalms contains the deepest expression of pain, hopelessness, and despair and the highest expressions of praise. No matter where a Psalm begins, the Psalms end with a profound sense of hope and confidence in God’s faithfulness.
The Book of Psalms is believed to be the most widely read of all the books in the Old Testament. Psalms is a collection of poems, songs, and prayers that express the feelings of the Israelites throughout their journey in the history of the Jews. The original meaning of the word “PSALMS” means to “pluck” the strings of an instrument, such as a harp or lyre. Later, it came to refer to the lyric poem sung to the accompaniment of string instruments. The Psalms becomes the Hymnbook of the Hebrew people in the Old Testament.
Majority of the Psalms were written by King David (73), Asaph (12), the Songs of Korah (12), Solomon (2), Moses(1), Heman(1), Ethan(1), and 48 others were anonymous.
The Book of Psalms is divided into five books, each closing with a doxology or benediction. These five books were probably introduced to imitate the five books of the TORAH.
Introduction Psalms 1 -2
Book 1. Psalms 3-41; “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel! From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.”
Book 2. Psalms 42-72; “And Blessed be the glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.”
Book 3. Psalms 73-89; “Blessed be the Lord forevermore! Amen and Amen.”
Book 4. Psalms 90-106; “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel. From everlasting to everlasting! Praise the Lord.”
Book 5. Psalms 107-145. “Let everything has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Conclusion Psalms 146-150
The Psalms can be identified into few basic types.
LAMENTS, An expression of grief, pain, loss, incomprehension, confusion, or dissatisfaction directed to God. Laments brings a troubled situation before the Lord, asking Him for help. There are community (Psa 2) and individual (Psa 13) laments. This is the largest by far, up to a third of all the Psalms are lamentations.
PRAISE, which call God’s people to celebrate His great attributes and deeds. (Psalms 8, 93, 145)
THANKSGIVING, as an expression of joy and thankfulness to God in response to some gracious act of God. There are individual as well as community thanksgiving Psalms, community Psa. 9 and individual Psa. 30.
WISDOM Psalms which give advice about responsible living, (Psa. 1, 37, 49, 73, 112 and 128), which reflect the themes from the Wisdom Books (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon).
How do we meditate on the Psalms?
- Read Psalms slowly and deliberately in order to take in the sights and sounds, taste, touch and smell in which the truth of God is contained.
- It is very important to know, who is speaking and to whom?
- Psalms is poetry. Poetry is using words to draw pictures. Identify the environment of the text, for example is in the battle front; in the temple or in the tent of the Lord, in the farm, etc.
- What is the main theme of the text?
- What does it say about Jesus?
- What it means to be in the presence of the Holy God?
- Reading Psalms is never completed until we response in prayer to God.
Why do we read Psalms? (from the Life Application Bible)
When we want:
To find comfort Psalm – 23
To meet God intimately – Psalm 103
To learn a new prayer – Psalm 136
To learn a new song – Psalm 92
To learn more about God – Psalm 24
To understand yourself more clearly – Psalm 8
To know how to come to God daily – Psalm 5
To be forgiven for your sins – Psalm 51
To feel worthwhile – Psalm 139
To understand why you should read the Bible – Psalm 119
To give praise to God – Psalm 145
To know God is in control – Psalm 146
To give thanks to God – Psalm 136
To please God – Psalm 15
To know why you should worship God – Psalm 104
As we read and memorize the Psalms, we will gradually discover how much they are already part of us. They put words into our deepest hurts, longings, thought, and prayers. They gently push us toward being what God designed us to be – people loving and living for Him. (Life Application Bible)
Prayer for today
Our Father in Heaven, we thank You for giving us the Psalms. From the Psalms we can learn from the Psalmist there is no shame to bare ourselves before you with both our joys as well as our sorrows. O Lord, help us to express ourselves freely in your presence. Help us to cultivate a closer relationship with You. Teach us devote ourselves to You. Open our mouth and enable us to pray and worship You. As we gain a clearer picture of who You are, teach us to love you with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind and with all our strength.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! Psalm 150.6
Amen and Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim
布道王子查尔斯•司布真（Charles Spurgeon）把诗篇称为“宝库”。诗篇书卷是个金矿。 （Samuel Whitefield）。我们应该如何去发掘这个宝藏呢？ 诗篇中镶嵌了无数的金块。诗篇与圣经中其他的书卷比较起来是非常独特的一本书。圣经是神对我们说的话。诗篇则是人类在现实生活中对上帝的回应。在诗篇中，我们发现了人类内心真实的、有时是残酷的表达。歌谣和诗歌表达了最高的喜悦和最深的痛苦及悲伤。作者向上帝恳求，对上帝呐喊，并祈求上帝的宽恕。作者们推崇美德和公义，他们也严厉地谴责人们的丑陋举止。诗篇包含了痛苦、绝望和失望的最深刻的表达，同时也发出了最崇高的赞美。无论诗篇从何处开始，诗篇的结尾总是对神的信实充满希望和信心。
第一卷，诗篇3-41； “耶和华以色列的 神、是应当称颂的、从亘古直到永远。阿们、阿们。”
第四卷，诗篇90-106;“ 耶和华以色列的 神、是应当称颂的、从亘古直到永远。愿众民都说、阿们。你们要赞美耶和华。”
‘哀歌’，向上帝表达悲痛，痛苦，失落，不理解，困惑或不满。哀歌乃是把一个困境带到主的面前，并向祂求助。例如，全民（诗篇第 2篇）和个人（诗篇第 13篇）的哀歌。诗篇中多达三分之一的诗篇属于哀歌。