Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Old Testament survey (19): Psalms

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1)

For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me. (Psalm 22:16-19)

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 20:1-2)

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10)

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (Psalm 119:1-2)


[1] Psalms, from Thru The Bible Radio with Dr. J. Vernon McGee ©, with free downloads Notes & Outlines (PDF), Complete 5-Year Study (MP3), An X-Ray of the Cross (PDF), The "Only" Psalm (PDF), What is Worship? (PDF), What is This World Coming To? (PDF)

The title in the Hebrew means Praises or Book of Praises. The title in the Greek suggests the idea of an instrumental accompaniment. Our title comes from the Greek psalmos. It is the book of worship. It is the hymnbook of the temple.

Many writers contributed one or more psalms. David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” has seventy-three psalms assigned to him. (Psalm 2 is ascribed to him in Acts 4:25; Psalm 95 is ascribed to him in Hebrews 4:7.) Also he could be the author of some of the “Orphanic” psalms. He was peculiarly endowed to write these songs from experience as well as a special aptitude. He arranged those in existence in his day for temple use. The other writers are as follows: Moses, 1 (90th); Solomon, 2; Sons of Korah, 11; Asaph, 12; Heman, 1 (88th); Ethan, 1 (89th); Hezekiah, 10; “Orphanic,” 39 (David may be the writer of some of these). There are 150 psalms.

Christ (the Messiah) is prominent throughout. The King and the Kingdom are the theme songs of the Psalms. (Read the complete article)
[2] Book of Psalms, from gotquestions.org (this website is also available in Afrikaans, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese-Myanmar, Cebuano, Chinese - Simplified, Chinese – Traditional, Hausa, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Malaysian, Persian-Farsi, Portuguese, Quechua, Sesotho, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Urdu, Vietnamese, Zulu, and 70 other languages)
God’s provision of a Savior for His people is a recurring theme in the Psalms. Prophetic pictures of the Messiah are seen in numerous psalms. Psalm 2:1-12 portrays the Messiah’s triumph and kingdom. Psalm 16:8-11 foreshadows His death and resurrection. Psalm 22 shows us the suffering Savior on the cross and presents detailed prophecies of the crucifixion, all of which were fulfilled perfectly. The glories of the Messiah and His bride are on exhibit in Psalm 45:6-7, while Psalms 72:6-17, 89:3-37, 110:1-7 and 132:12-18 present the glory and universality of His reign. (Read the complete article)
[3] Psalms, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)
The simplest description of the five books of Psalms is that they were the inspired prayer- and-praise book of Israel. They are revelations of truth, not abstractly, but in the terms of human experience. The truth revealed is wrought into the emotions, desires, and sufferings of the people of God by the circumstances through which they pass. But those circumstances are such as to constitute an anticipation of analogous conditions through which Christ in His incarnation, and the Jewish remnant in the tribulation ( 10:21, refs), should pass; so then many Psalms are prophetic of the sufferings, the faith, and the victory of both. Psalms 22 and 50 are examples. The former--the holy of holies of the Bible-- reveals all that was in the mind of Christ when He uttered the desolate cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" The latter is an anticipation of what will be in the heart of Israel when she shall turn to Jehovah again (Deuteronomy 30:1,2). Other Psalms are directly prophetic of "the sufferings of Christ, and the glories which should follow" (Luke 24:25-27,44). Psalm 2 is a notable instance, presenting Jehovah's Anointed as rejected and crucified (Psalms 2:1-3; Acts 4:24-28) but afterward set as King in Zion.

The great themes of the Psalms are, Christ, Jehovah, the Law, Creation, the future of Israel, and the exercises of the renewed heart in suffering, in joy, in perplexity. The promises of the Psalms are primarily Jewish, and suited to a people under the law, but are spiritually true in Christian experience also, in the sense that they disclose the mind of God, and the exercises of His heart toward those who are perplexed, afflicted, or cast down.

The imprecatory Psalms are the cry of the oppressed in Israel for justice--a cry appropriate and right in the earthly people of God, and based upon a distinct promise in the Abrahamic Covenant ((See Scofield "Genesis 15:18") ), but a cry unsuited to the church, a heavenly people who have taken their place with a rejected and crucified Christ. (Luke 9:52-55).

The Psalms are in five books, each ending in a doxology:

1. Psalms 1-41.
2. Psalms 42-72.
3. Psalms 73-89.
4. Psalms 90-106.
5. Psalms 107-150.
[4] Psalms Pt.1, Psalms Pt.2, and Psalms Pt.3 (with chart The Heartbeat of the Bible), from Uplook Ministries


[1] Key verses: Psalms 19:1; 22:16-19; 23:1; 29:1-2; 51:10; 119:1-2; 150:1-6

[2] Messianic psalms (those chapters or verses which contain references to the Messiah and are applied to Christ in the New Testament). Three Messianic psalms, specifically, Psalm 24 (King of Glory), Psalm 72 (millennial reign of Christ) and Psalm 89 (fulfillment of Davidic covenant by Christ) however are not mentioned in the New Testament.
  • The Messiah will be the Son of God, Psalm 2:7, as fulfilled in Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22

  • The Messiah will be raised from the dead (resurrected), Psalm 16:10-11, as fulfilled in Matthew 28:5-9; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:4-7; John 20:11-16; Acts 1:3 and 2:32

  • The Messiah crucifixion experience, Psalm 22, as fulfilled in Matthew 27:34-50 and John 19:17-30

  • The Messiah will be sneered at and mocked, Psalm 22:7, as fulfilled in Luke 23:11, 35-39

  • The Messiah will be pierced through his hands and feet, Psalm 22:16, as fulfilled in Luke 23:33 and 24:36-39; John 19:18 and 20:19-20, 24-27

  • The Messiah’s bones will not be broken (a person’s legs were usually broken after being crucified to speed up death), Psalm 22:17 and 34:20, as fulfilled in John 19:31-33, 36

  • Men will gamble for the Messiah’s clothing, Psalm 22:18, as fulfilled in Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24

  • The Messiah will accused by false witnesses, Psalm 35:11, as fulfilled in Matthew 26:59-60 and Mark 14:56-57

  • The Messiah will be hated without a cause, Psalm 35:19 and 69:4, as fulfilled in John 15:23-25

  • The Messiah will be betrayed by a friend, Psalm 41:9, as fulfilled in John 13:18, 21

  • The Messiah will ascend to heaven at the right hand of God, Psalm 68:18, as fulfilled in Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9; 2:33-35; 3:20-21; 5:31,32; 7:55-56; Romans 8:34; Ephesians 1:20,21; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2

  • The Messiah will be given vinegar and gall to drink, Psalm 69:21, as fulfilled in Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23; John 19:29-30

  • Great rulers will pay homage and tribute to the Messiah, Psalm 72:10-11, as fulfilled in Matthew 2:1-11

  • The Messiah is a “stone the builders rejected” but who will become the “head cornerstone” Psalm 118:22-23 and Isaiah 28:16, as fulfilled in Matthew 21:42,43; Acts 4:11; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-8

  • The Messiah will be a descendant of David, Psalm 132:11 and Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:15-16, as fulfilled in Luke 1:32-33
[3] The “fear of the Lord” (from Easton’s Bible Dictionary) is in the Old Testament used as a designation of true piety (Proverbs 1:7; Job 28:28; Psalms 19:9). It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather filial reverence. (Deuteronomy 32:6; Hosea 11:1; Isaiah 1:2; 63:16; 64:8.) God is called "the Fear of Isaac" (Genesis 31:42,53), i.e., the God whom Isaac feared. A holy fear is enjoined also in the New Testament as a preventive of carelessness in religion, and as an incentive to penitence (Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 5:11; 7:1; Philippians 2:12; Ephesians 5:21; Hebrews 12:28-29).

References to “fear the Lord”
  • Psalm 19:9
  • Psalm 34:11
  • Psalm 111:10
References to “fear the Lord”
  • Psalm 15:4
  • Psalm 22:23
  • Psalm 33:8
  • Psalm 34:9
  • Psalm 115:11, 13
  • Psalm 118:4
  • Psalm134:20
[4] The Treasury of David, by Charles H. Spurgeon
The Treasury of David, from Crosswalk.com (This seven volume "magnum opus", by Charles H. Spurgeon, was first published in weekly installments over a twenty-year span in the London Metropolitan Tabernacle's periodical, The Sword and the Trowel. As each section was completed it was published as a volume until the seventh and final volume was released in 1885.)

The Treasury of David, from spurgeon.org

Treasury of David, from StudyLight.org

Treasury of David, from grace-for-today.com

Treasury of David Bible, from eword

Treasury of David / C. H. Spurgeon's Commentary on Psalms, from swordsearcher.com
Further study (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Heart Connections … connecting our heart to the heart of God, A Devotional Commentary on the Psalms, by Paul G. Apple,

[2] Studies in Psalms, various authors, from bible.org

[3] Materials by David Malick
[4] Psalms: Songs for the Soul (9 articles in series), by Gwynne Johnson , MABS

[5] A Psalm for All Seasons: Studies in the Book of Psalms, (15 articles in series), by Bob Deffinbaugh, Th.M

[6] Materials by Greg Herrick, Th.M., Ph.D.
Sermons on Psalm 51 (Be like the Bereans! Acts 17:11)

[1] Revival, Who's Going to Experience It, by Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama

[2] Sermons by Pastor Jeremy Stephens, Southview Baptist Church
[3] God Does With Our Sins, by Robert Bennett

[4] When You've Messed Up! By Luke Harris

[5] Repentance, by Wynton Williams

[6] Rob Morgan: E = Evangelism, by Thom Bombard

[7] How To Come Back When You Are Down, by Earl Hardy

[8] Accepting the Call to Holiness, by Kenneth Morris

For other available sermons, please surf to Sermon / Preaching resources. Sermons are also available from South McGehee Baptist Church, McGehee, Arizona; Central Baptist Church, Lowesville; First Baptist Church, Mountain View, Missouri; Swift Creek Baptist Church; Word of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, Philadelphia; Palm Springs Baptist Church, California; South Woods Baptist Church; Grove Baptist Church, Ulster; Dudley Baptist Church, United Kingdom; Independent Fundamental Baptist Sermons, Fundamental Christian Radio Broadcasts, Off-Site Audio Page and The Christian Radio Tuner

Notes: (1) This ministry does not necessarily endorse or share all the views and opinions expressed in the materials, resources or links mentioned in these posts. Please always refer to the Articles of Faith and Biblical distinctives of Baptists when you study these materials. (2) This lesson is part of the projected 300 plus lessons. From time to time, the lessons will be updated, revised, combined, formatted, and edited to comply with the VOA Simplified English word list. Later on, these lessons will be categorized, numbered sequentially, and made available as PDF downloads.

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