Summary: just a brief intro to Israel's hymnbook as we begin a look at selected passages



1. Sometimes when I pray I can't think of the words, I can't utter what is in my heart

2. For some reason I think I might offend God if I'm honest, or angry or guilty

3. The Psalms corrects me in this and anchors me in my soul

4. I want to begin a brief look at the songbook of God's people of old and be uplifted, challenged, encouraged, and more.


A. Ex. 19:3-9 God’s intentions for Israel

To be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation

B. Moses later reminds them:

1. Deut. 7:7-9---it was because the Lord loved them and was

keeping his oath he swore to their forefathers.

2. Deut. 9:4-6---it was not on account of their righteousness that

God was giving them the land, but the wickedness of the

nations and his faithfulness to his oath; they in fact were a

stiff-necked people.

C. This covenant was between God and Israel only, they promised

not to serve & worship other gods

D. Ex. 20:22-23:19 seems to be the “book of the covenant” which

is ratified in Ex. 24:7, everything else comes later to Moses

1. God instructs them in more detail what he had given them in

the 10 commandments.

2. no other god’s, idols or altars

3. respectful treatment of servants and one another---ch. 21

4. protection of property ch. 22

5. moral and social instructions 22:16ff

6. slander and deceit 23:1-9

7. Sabbath---23:10-13

8. feasts/festivals 23:14-19

E. After the covenant is confirmed, God instructs Moses as the

details of the tabernacle and its contents--God’s sanctuary, and

the priesthood

F. Two basic ideas are seen in God’s instructions:

1. separateness---God protected his holiness---on the mountain,

you can’t come close…only Moses can approach even though

70 elders are there; even the priesthood signifies

separateness—only certain ones can approach and they spend

much time preparing to do so.

2. Nearness—the idea of the tabernacle is God dwelling among

them---Ex. 25:8 “then have them make a sanctuary for me,

and I will dwell among them.”

G. the worship/liturgy that God commanded involved the whole

being of man as well as everyday throughout the year

1. It involved the heart, soul, mind, body of the Israelite, i.e.

sacrifice, song, festivals, Sabbath, etc.

2. it involved every day, every season to remind Israel of their

relationship with God and their dependence on him, i.e. feast

of ingathering/harvest, of Passover, Sabbath, etc.

H. But all worship to God was based on the holiness of the life of

he Israelite.

1. an unholy and sinful man could not approach a holy God,

reminded by the priesthood.

2. An Israelite had to be de-sinned: a sacrifice of blood had to be

Made---Day of Atonement, (Day of sin covering)

I. As we know, Israel actually never kept their promise to God and

served the god’s of the Canaanites.

J. But four hundred years later, a man came upon the scene that

forever changed God’s worship

1. an unknown shepherd boy who had the heart of God

2. who was chosen to be king and under his reign, the nation of

Israel reached their zenith


A. Psalms are actually a collection of writings that span over 1000


B. It should not affect our faith to know that they had multiple

authors at different times, for different reasons, finally collected

and edited by scribes in the post Babylonian exile era.

1. 73 ascribed to David

2. 12 to Asaph

3. 11 to sons of Korah

4. 1 to Heman the Ezrahite

5. 1 to Ethan the Ezrahite

6. 1 to Moses

C. Psalms is divided into 5 books, and is this way in the Hebrew text

D. 116 psalms have subtitles or superscripts, 34 do not and

although most scholars don’t place a lot of credibility in them,

they do portray some information:

1. author, melody, use of the Psalm—Sabbath, etc.

2. in actuality, nothing can be known about their original context

and reason for being written.

a. Some however do have more of a concrete context: Ps. 51

b. one author stated: “each psalm is a little island of

devotional literature.”

E. Some types of Psalms:

1. The hymn—a worship Psalm; Ps. 113 a call to worship,

reasons for worship & a call to worship

2. The Lament—calling upon God in a trying situation Ps. 42

3. Thanksgiving---a response to an answered lament followed by

an account of salvation Ps. 30:1

4. Remembrance—a history lesson of God’s presence Ps. 18

5. Confidence---an expression of trust Ps. 11,16, 23

6. Wisdom—a teaching Psalm, how God wants the believer to live

Ps. 1

7. Royal Psalm—devotional about kings, whether earthly (Ps. 20),

God as King (Ps. 47:7), or the Messiah (Ps. 2)

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