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The Bible Guide Soul Music

In the Psalms we hear a voice which is new to scripture. It is the voice of personal prayer, soul-searching, praise and hope

Exploring the Old Testament Chapter 13: Psalms of Lament and Praise

It describes the worshipers’ response of praise because of God’s power and love, expresses their hope based on God’s promises for the future, and records their cries for God to rescue them from the troubles of life

Exploring the Old Testament Chapter 13: Psalms of Lament and Praise

When a psalm was sung (“Great is the LORD” from Ps. 48), the singer was testifying to God’s greatness, the listener was hearing how God had worked in another person’s life, and everyone was encouraged to trust in God’s power.

Ryrie’s Concise Guide to the Bible What is the Book of Psalms?

the writers of the books of the New Testament quote from the Psalms more than any other Old Testament book. Singing psalms was also part of the worship of the early church (1 Corinthians 14:26; Colossians 3:25).


1) Praise Psalms

These hymns fulfill one of the chief purposes for the existence of mankind on earth—the purpose of enjoying and glorifying God

Praises include: a call to praise God; reasons for praising God

Ex: ,

2) Lament Psalms

People in Israel lamented and cried out to God for help for several reasons

Laments include: crying out to God; giving a complaint; requesting for God’s help; making a statement of trust; and a vow of praise.

The lament structure usually includes

Ex: ,

3) Messianic Psalms

The ESV Study Bible Literary Features

All relate to the Messiah, the ultimate heir of David, either by setting a pattern (Psalms 20–21) or by portraying the king’s reign in such a way that only the Messiah can completely fulfill it (e.g., Psalms 2; 72), or by focusing primarily on the future aspect (e.g., Psalm 110).

Messianic psalms include: a prediction that the King of Israel will reign forever

Ex: ,

4) Wisdom Psalms

Although it is a little difficult to identify what a wisdom psalm is, most agree that there are a group of psalms that reflect the teachings of the wisdom books

Wisdom psalms include: the righteous or the fool, prosperity or destruction, suffering of the righteous

Ex: , , , ,

5) Royal Psalms

Within this group of psalms are songs about or by an earthly king, as well as songs about the kingship of God

Royal psalms include: a call for God to protect his anointed king, a call for man to fear God as Judge


6) Historical Psalms

Exploring the Old Testament Historical Psalms

Instead they review Israel’s history in order to remind the listener of the nation’s past sins, to praise God for His gracious deeds on their behalf, or to encourage the people to trust God because He has been faithful in the past

Historical psalms include: review of God’s faithfulness; record of God’s anger; a confession of Israel’s failures; an anticipation of future blessing

Ex: , ,

7) Imprecatory Psalms

Exploring the Old Testament Imprecatory Psalms

A number of psalms contain curses or imprecations against the enemies of God’s people

Imprecations include: an indictment against the wicked; a judgment against the wicked; a lament from the psalmist

Ex: ,

8) Penitence Psalms

Exploring the Old Testament Psalms of Confession and Penitence

A central characteristic of those who love God is their hatred of sin, their desire to turn from sinful attitudes and actions, and their willingness to confess their sin so that they can receive God’s forgiveness

Penitences include: a pleading for God’s grace and forgiveness; an acknowledgment of sinful behavior; a commitment to repentance; a praise of joy

Ex: ,


1. Intro

MEANING: A “Psalm” is a song sung with instruments

Ryrie’s Concise Guide to the Bible What is the Book of Psalms?

It was Israel’s hymn book, a collection of Hebrew songs, hymns, laments, and praises taken from various periods of Jewish history.

AUTHOR: King David & Various Authors (Moses, Solomon, Asaph, Sons of Korah)

Ryrie’s Concise Guide to the Bible Who Wrote These Psalms?

However, seventy-three of the 150 psalms were written by King David, who was called “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1).

DATE: 1400-400 BC

The collection grew gradually over time. For example “Book One” (1–41) could have been completed early in Solomon’s time. The “Asaph Collection” (73–83) and the “Songs of Ascents” (120–134) were perhaps added as a group. The final compilation probably did not occur until after the second temple had been completed.

The Bible Guide A Variety of Psalms

The Psalms may have been written and collected over a period of 600 years

2. Themes

Praise: God’s attributes and actions

Praise: God’s attributes and actions

Many psalms exalt God for who he is (praise) and what he has done (thanksgiving).

Many psalms exalt God for who he is (praise) and what he has done (thanksgiving).

David: King of Israel, Man of God

The ESV Study Bible Authorship, Occasion, and Date

Davidic authorship corresponds well with biblical testimony. David was “skillful in playing the lyre” (1 Sam. 16:16–23) and an accomplished songwriter (2 Sam. 1:17–27; 22:1–23:7); his reputation as “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Sam. 23:1) is highly credible, as is the way 1 Chronicles presents him as taking an active role in developing Israel’s worship

Kendell H. Easley, Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding the Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2002), 122.
Kendell H. Easley, Holman QuickSource Guide to Understanding the Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2002), 122.

Reflect: Pause, Think, Rest

Old Testament Survey: Genesis–Malachi VII. Musical Terms in the Psalter

SELAH is used 71 times in 39 psalms and Hab. 3:3, 9, 13. It meaning is uncertain. There have been several theories:

a. from the LXX “interlude” for meditation or dramatic effect

b. from Hebrew root “to lift,” therefore, an elevation or forte

c. the Rabbis say it is an affirmation like “Amen” which means “forever.”

3. Occasion

To preserve the inspired words of Israel’s songwriters...

Exploring the Old Testament Historical Setting

Many of the psalms have two settings—the original historical experience of the author who wrote the psalm (David out on a hill taking care of his sheep) and the later setting of the psalm as it was sung in the temple in Jerusalem on a feast day

4. Outline

Exploring the Old Testament Chapter 13: Psalms of Lament and Praise

The psalms were arranged into five subdivisions or books (1–41; 42–72; 73–89; 90–106; 107–150). This order follows the fivefold division of the Pentateuch and may reflect the process of collecting these songs and prayers into Israel’s hymnbook

: Book 1 by David

: Book 2 by David

: Book 3 by Asaph

: Book 4 by Various

: Book 5 by David & Various

Psalm 41:13 ESV
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.
Psalm 150:6 ESV
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

5. Controversy

How should we interpret imprecatory psalms?

The MacArthur Bible Handbook Answers to Tough Questions

When someone was mistreating them or their people, they would at times cry out for very specific judgment to be applied by God on their enemies

The ESV Study Bible Curses in the Psalms

some general principles will help in understanding these passages.

First, one must be clear that the people being cursed are not enemies over trivial matters


Four theologies of the Psalms:

1) God always hears and comforts those that come to Him

2) God wants us to focus less on the problem and more on His power

3) God’s house is a place of praise and thanksgiving

4) God is worthy to be praised simply because He is God

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