Psalm 9 may have originally been one poem with Psalm 10. Psalm 10 has no new superscription and the two Psalms deal with the same theme. The Psalms in the Hebrew text form a partial acrostic pattern. Ten of the initial letters of verses in Psalm 9 follow the order of the Hebrew alphabet, and seven initial letters in Psalm 10 continue the same pattern. In Hebrew, this makes this section of Scripture easy to read and memorize. David is the human author and he praises the Lord, the righteous Judge for destroying the wicked (vv 1-10), exhorts the people to praise Him (vv 11-12), and calls upon God to destroy the wicked so the right may be delivered (vv 13-20).
Psalm 8 is a Psalm of praise and wisdom. In should be read with the great creation text of Genesis chapter 1 as it expresses awe and wonder at the handiwork of God seen all around in nature. Interestingly, the middle of the Psalm focuses on human beings, but even at that all praise goes to the God of creation. David, the human author, marvels at the majesty of the Lord, who uses the weak (infants, v 2) to overthrow the mighty (vv 1-2) and ponders the thought that God has entrusted His creation to the dominion of man (vv 3-8). The beloved chapter ends of a triumphant note of praise to the Lord.
Psalm 7 is a lament Psalm. David calls to God for deliverance believing that he does not deserve the suffering or the feeling of being abandoned by God. He appeals to God to vindicate him from slander and bring judgment on his wicked enemies. This Psalm is referred to an an imprecatory Psalm which means that is contains an invocation of judgment, calamity, or curse against one's enemies who are viewed as enemies of God. This Psalm expresses David's extreme sorrow.
Psalm 6 is a lament Psalm although closely related to the penitential Psalms. The superscription over this Psalm is similar to the previous two chapters. The psalmist was very ill and feared he could die. He feared this illness was due to his sinfulness. The specific instruments is a reminder that this Psalm became part of the worship of the community when the temple was constructed.
Psalm 4 beautifully follows Psalm 5 and the two should be read together. This is because the mood in both chapters speaks of the possibility of finding God's peace even when pain may be present (3:5, 4:8). Although this is a lament Psalm, the writer's relationship with God is strong and secure. To the wicked there is a proclamation of hope rather than a pronouncement of doom. This chapter bears the superscription, "To the Chief Musician with Stringed Instruments". This Psalm was probably sung in early temple worship with stringed instruments. It serves as a reminder to even praise God in difficult situations.
Psalm 3 is a lament Psalm ascribed to David. Note the superscription which tells us the Psalm was penned during the period of David's flight from his son Absalom (2 Samuel 15). The student of Scripture would note this is one of few Psalm titles that ties a Psalm to a specific incident in the life of David.
Psalm 2 is a royal Psalm. A royal Psalm focuses on the glorious reign of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We are not given a human author in the Psalms, however, in the New Testament we see the apostles assign it to David (Acts 4:24-26). This Psalm should be read in conjunction with Psalm 110. This is because both Psalms point forward to the coming rule of the Lord Jesus Christ (note Acts 13:33, Hebrews 1:5,6, and Revelation 12:5).
Psalm 1 is a wisdom Psalm. This chapter presents a clear contrast between the way of the righteous (vv 1-2) and the way of the wicked (vv 4-6). We are not given the author nor the purpose of this Psalm but it was probably written late in Israel's history. This chapter serves as the "gatekeeper" to this beloved book and is great wisdom for the child of God. The chapter highlights the distinctions of character and the different destinies of the righteous and the wicked.
- Reading Psalms
- Keith L. Brooks: Overview
- Prayer, Praise, and Promises
- John Calvin; The Psalms
- A.C. Gaebelein: The Annotated Bible (Psalms)
- Thomas Constable: Notes on Psalms
- Spurgeon: Treasury of David
- J. Vernon McGee: Thru The Bible
- Matthew Henry: Psalms
- Isaac Watts: Psalms and Hymns
- John Wesley: Wesley's Notes on Psalms
- Ray Stedman: The Worship of an Honest Heart
- Abstracts & Articles
- Our Daily Bread: Psalms
- Spurgeon: Psalms
- Psalm Archive
- Singing the Psalter
- Devo Archive #4
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