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The Big Idea

Psalms in the Key of Life  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:53
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What is the Main Purpose of Psalms?
The entire collection of Psalms is actually called Praises in the Hebrew text. How awesome is that? In fact ancient rabbis often designated it as “The Book of Praises.” The Septuagint, which is the Greek Translation of the Old Testament labeled it as Psalms. The book of Psalms is talked about in the New Testament in Luke 20:42 and Acts 1:20. The greek from which the noun psalms comes is referring to the plucking or twanging of strings. This fits perfectly with our Texas culture. A little bit of twang never hurt anyone.
The Psalms were comprised as ancient hymns for God’s people. The poetry of these Psalms was often set to music and many new artists have taken Psalms and made them into songs. My point here is that the Psalms express the emotion of the individual poet to God, and different types of psalms were written to communicate different feelings regarding the situation. So, who was the author of Psalms?
Who are the authors? David wrote about half the Psalms. In fact, 73 are attributed to Him. Then we have Solomon, Moses, Asaph, Heman, Ethan, and the Sons of Korah. So, we actually have several different authors throughout this book.
Types or categories of the Psalms?
-Laments = A lament where we see the author crying out to God in difficult circumstances. There are a couple of different ways we see this in the Psalms. First we see this corporately in Psalm 12. We also see this individually in Psalm 13.
-Hymns of Praise = These are also knows as Psalms of Praise. We see these in several Psalms and help us as God’s people to admire His great and wonderful deeds.
-Hymns of Thanksgiving = Thanksgiving Psalms. We see these in Psalm 9 and 30. These Psalms usually reflect the author’s gratitude for a personal deliverance or provision from God.
-Hymns celebrating God’s law
-Wisdom psalms = These Psalms reflect themes from the wisdom books like Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
-Songs of confidence = These songs help us as worshipers deepen our trust in God even during difficult times.
-Royal Psalms = These psalms refer to Israel’s king or Israel’s Messiah.
-Historical Psalms = These psalms take lessons from the history of God’s dealings with His people.
-Prophetic Hymns = These hymns echo the Prophets, calling people to covenant faithfulness. Psalm 81
What are the Composition or Structure of Psalms? There are 5 major breaks: Explain these a bit more.
-Book One is Psalms 1-41 = In this first book we see Psalms of David and most of these are prayers of distress. We also see statements of confidence that David as in his God.
-Book Two is Psalms 42-72 = In book 2 we see some Psalms by the sons of Korah. There are also some more Psalms of David including most of the historical psalms. These are also laments and prayers of distress. -Book Three is Psalms 73-89 = In book 3 we see things get even darker. Psalm 73 begins by having some questions about the justice of God before seeing the light in God’s presence. Most of this 3rd book contains the Psalms of Asaph as well as a few other sons of Korah psalms. -Book Four is Psalms 90-106 = Here in book 4 we begin to see a response to some of the problems raised in book 3. Psalm 90 is attributed to Moses and it reminds the worshiper that God was active on Israel’s behalf way before the days of King David. Right in the middle Psalm 93-100 we see a group of Psalms characterized by “The Lord reigns.” -Finally we come to Book Five is Psalms 107-150 = This final book helps us understand that God does answer prayer and it finishes up with 5 Hallelujah psalms 146-150. There are also several Psalms here that affirm the truth of the promises to David. These are the breakdowns of the book of Psalms. I hope they will help you as you read through it.
What is the Big Idea of Psalms?

1.The Psalms teach us about worship.

Psalm 150 ESV
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
I know that this is the last chapter of Psalms but I want to begin here because we see that Psalms is all about our worship of God. All of God’s creation should praise and worship God. In fact the psalmist tells us that everything that has breath should praise the Lord. This is a great way to start our day, go about our day, and end our day. But there are several ways we can do this.

2. The Psalms encourage us to praise God.

In verse 1 we see the place of praise. The sanctuary or temple. We can praise God on earth and someday we will praise Him in heaven forever. We also see in verse 2 that we should praise God for His mighty deeds and excellent greatness. So often we can focus on the bad things of this life and we miss all of the wonderful things God has done for us. Take time today to praise God for 5 things that He has done for you. We also see here several means of praise. We still do this today. We use instruments and our voices to praise God. Let everything that has breath praise God today. Let’s take time to focus on the Lord and be reminded of how awesome He truly is.

3. The Psalms remind us of the greatness and faithfulness of God.

Psalm 13 ESV
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
Here in chapter 13 we see David talk about 4 different “How longs.” David is lamenting here and is desiring His God to intervene and help him. Here is why we need to know this today. We want the same thing don’t we? We ask the same question. God how long until I get the job? God how long will you make me wait to have kids? God how long will I suffer with this health condition? We desperately need God to intervene for us. So, let us be reminded of how David ends this short Psalm. He is reminded of the greatness of His God. He trusts in His steadfast love. He rejoices in the salvation that comes from God. He is able to sing only because of all of these things that God has done for him. Lets us be reminded today of the salvation that God has given us.

4.The Psalms declare the centrality of God’s Word.

Psalm 1 ESV
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Now, we have already covered a few Psalms, however Psalm chapter 1 and these first 6 verses cover the whole introduction of the book. The intro here in Psalms 1 is so important because we see the Psalmist begin by telling us about the wise man who follows God’s word. Notice verse 2. His delight (his joy and happiness) come because he is excited to obey God’s word not the foolish ways of this world. Is God’s Word important in your life today? How much time are you spending with Him. Let’s make God’s word the center and focus of our lives. This can help us in difficult times, it can help us with tough questions, it can help us throughout our lives. We need to know God’s word church.

5.The Psalms show us the devotion of God’s people.

The word blessed here gives us a great perspective into the lives of individual followers of God. This is a deep-seated joy and contentment that can only come from God and being devoted to Him. We also see another perspective and that is the community of believers. What we see here is a redemptive favor. Blessed is the one who does not walk in the council of the wicked. Watch out church!!! Be alert! We can live for God and walk with Him but we need to be on guard against the evil things of this world.
Notice verse 3. When we meditate on God’s Word and let it soak in and take effect we will be like a tree. This beautiful tree served as a blessing in the Old Testament. All of these things that we see here in verse 3 point us to the fact that the tree is growing. It is planted by water, it yields fruit in season, it does not wither and it prospers. This points us back to what a Christian should look like. When we are devoted to God and follow His words we can live changed and growing lives because we meet with Him daily.
What does all of this mean for me today Matt? What is the take home here?
-First of all I want to encourage to read through this wonderful book. Let it begin to sink in and ask the Lord to help you understand His words.
-Thank God today that you can Worship Him and express your emotions to Him, just like David did and many others.
-If you are hurting today call out to God and tell Him what you are struggling with. He knows what you are going through and wants to help but we must first run to him and ask.
-If you find yourself rejoicing today reflect on Psalm 30. Joy comes in the morning is the subheading.
-No matter where you are at today the Psalms can help you share your heart with the Lord and trust in His steadfast love.
(Close in prayer and lead into communion)
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