Psalms

Part 1: Opening Prayer

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Amen. (Psalm 25:1-5)

Questions to answer in comments.
Why is LORD all capitals?

Part 2: Story

To see the Psalms in Hebrew and to hear them chanted click here.

Answer in comments:
How many psalms are there in our tradition?
Did you learn anything here you did not know about the Psalms before?

Part 3: Message

“It is my view that in the words of this book the whole human life, its basic spiritual conduct and as well its occasional movements and thoughts, is comprehended and contained. Nothing to be found in human life is omitted.” (Athanasius, Ad Marcellinum)

The Psalter “might well be called a little Bible. In it is comprehended most beautifully and briefly everything that is in the entire Bible. It is really a fine enchiridion or handbook.” (Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, 35:254)

In the Book of Psalms, “there is nothing wanting which relates to the knowledge of eternal salvation.” (John Calvin, Commentary p. xxxix)

“The Psalter occupies a unique place in the Holy Scriptures. It is God’s Word and, with a few exceptions, the prayer of men as well.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together p 44)

Psalms and Isaiah are the two Old Testament books most quoted in the New Testament.

The Psalms are a book of prayers and praises, as well as a guide to help teach us to pray.

Psalms are poetry, and are meant to be sung. When we read them they do not always feel like prose or poetry.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Something was lost in translation?” When the psalms were translated from their original Hebrew into English or another language, some of the rhythm/rhyme was lost.

The Psalms are broken into 5 sections:

  • Book 1 (Psalms 1–41)
  • Book 2 (Psalms 42–72)
  • Book 3 (Psalms 73–89)
  • Book 4 (Psalms 90–106)
  • Book 5 (Psalms 107–150)

Why do you think there are 5 sections to the Psalms? (Discuss below)

And there are different types of psalms:

  • The Prayer for Help of an Individual
    • These are the most numerous type of psalm.
    • They also present the issue of who is the I in the psalm.
    • Psalm 38
    • Psalm 26
    • Psalm 3
  • Thanksgiving of an individual
    • Psalm 107
    • Psalm 30
    • Psalm 116
  • Corporate Prayer for Help
    • Psalm 44
    • Psalm 74
    • Psalm 79
  • Hymn
    • Psalm 145
    • Psalm 113
    • Psalm 114
  • Psalm of Instruction
    • Psalm 25
    • Psalm 119
    • Psalm 50
  • Other types
    • Ceremonies of procession or entrance
      • Psalm 118
      • Psalm 24
      • Psalm 15
    • Speeches
      • Psalm 50
      • Psalm 82
    • And others

There are 150 Psalms in our tradition, yet the Septuagint bible (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), present in Eastern Orthodox churches, includes a Psalm 151. There is a Hebrew version of this was found in the Psalms Scroll of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Some versions of the Peshitta (the bible used in Syriac churches in the Middle East) include Psalms 152–155. There are also the Psalms of Solomon, which are a further 18 psalms of Jewish origin, likely originally written in Hebrew, but surviving only in Greek and Syriac translation. These and other indications suggest that the current Western Christian and Jewish collection of 150 psalms were selected from a wider set.

 

Part 4: Learn and Engage

Quiz available at testmoz.com/402117 . Remember to use your real first name.

Part 5: Closing Prayer

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Amen. (Psalm 25:1-5)

What is your favorite Psalm and why? Answer below with a link to the psalm.