The Book of Pslams

The purpose of the book of Psalms is to use the familiar hymns of Israel to provide a cantata-like presentation of God’s kingship through his anointed representatives, the kings of David. Similar to a catchy song, the book of Psalms attempts to instill right theology in a memorable way. The book of Psalms has no set author. Many people, such as David, Asaph, Herman, Ethan, and the Sons of Korah are all credited with writing portions of the book. It was not until a later editor put the works together that the modern book of Psalms was canonized.  Each author would have had a specific purpose for each composition. There is not a unified purpose or message that can be attributed to the book as a whole. One must search for the purpose of each individual composition. Ultimately, the book attempts to reflect the nature of God and the response of the individual.

verseTo the modern church, the book of Psalms represents that there was always a faithful remnant in Israel’s history no matter how bad things got in the Kingdom. There was always an active, worshipping community. Through the different types of Psalms, such as Royal, Thanksgiving, Individual laments and Community laments, the reader is able to better understand the relationship between God and his creation. The Psalms display right worship, especially when focusing on God’s relationship with nature. The blessings and curses connected to the covenant were tied to the produce of the land. God is elevated above nature, and man is the pinnacle of his creation. Thus, as Psalms displays, mankind is to worship the Lord no matter what situation arises in life.

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