A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
As you go through the day do you ever sing?
The Book of Psalms takes its name from the Greek translation of the Old Testament carried out in 250 B.C. (sometimes called the Septuagint). In Hebrew the traditional name is tehillim, meaning Praises (even thought much of the content involves prayers). In its current form, this collection was probably not completed until about B.C. 350, when it was used in the post-exilic worship of the temple built by Zerubbabel and Ezra.
Most of the texts were meant to be sung and there are five divisions or books within the collection: (1) 1-41; (2) 42-72: (3) 73-89; (4) 90-106; (5) 107-150. It has been speculated that the 5-fold division was adopted to coincide with the 5 books of Moses (Genesis - Deuteronomy), although this cannot be certain. The first two of these books were probably compiled before the exile of 586 B.C., and the other three after.
The issue in Psalm 1 is the relationship between the wicked and the righteous. The psalm writer makes the point that those who do not embrace God=s central place in life and His final directions on how to live have no place among His people. But those who follow Him faithfully will be blessed.
Psalm 2 asserts the blessedness of those who acknowledge God and His anointed leader B in this case the king. This appears to be written in celebration of the coronation of one of the kings in the Davidic line.
Psalm 3 is a confident prayer for God=s protection against enemies. The writer emphasizes his ability to wake rested because God guards his sleep, and the inner serenity and security which allows him to go to sleep with confidence knowing God is in control and on his side. God=s power protects those who belong to Him both by day and by night.
Psalm 4 is written for worship and is to be accompanied by stringed instruments, while Psalm 5 is a prayer for God=s help and an affirmation of loyalty with the assertion that those who are in the right kind of relationship with God have only good things to which to look forward.
Psalm 6 is a prayer in a time of serious illness, a reaffirmation of the writer=s determination to follow God alone, and a statement of confidence in the future.
How about humming a tune? We have as much to be thankful for and confident in as the psalm writers. Make a list
of the kinds of things Psalms 1-6 assert God will do for us. Every hour throughout today, read the list. It really is amazing what God promises
B not to mention comforting and encouraging.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010