Introduction to the Psalms (songs and prayers)

Biblical Studies

Although many of the Psalms were written early in ancient Israel’s life, the composition of the book we know as Psalms was Post-Exilic (539BCE). This means it is a book compiled BY and FOR a people living and returning from exile.

…a people estranged from their homes

…defeated by unjust powers

…a people who have lost everything

…cut-off from their God, identity, and purpose

 

Psalms are the songs and prayers of the people. It’s worship book for the formation and nourishment of hope and faith in desperate times. But not hope in some general sense… storied hope. Hope rooted in the storied promise of the representative sent by God to rescue his people from exile… one to deal with the evil and injustice in the world and restore creation: The Messiah. Thus, the Psalms were seen as ABOUT or BY the Messiah (Savior/King).

Jesus himself taught that all Scripture was about him (Luke 24:44-45), and quoted from the Psalms most frequently.

When you read a psalm, where do you imagine Jesus signing and praying that psalm?