Why study the Psalms?

We have had 4 recent sermons from the Psalms.  Wouldn’t it be better and easier to just study the New Testament?  The law has been fulfilled, we’re not in a monarchy, we don’t always understand references to ancient nations so why study it?

2 Timothy 3 tells us, All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 

The Psalms build us up by teaching, wake us up to where we’re in the wrong, correct us from doing wrong, train us how to live rightly, make us complete people, and ready us for every good work.

We need to understand the Psalms to fully understand who Jesus is,

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself…Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. -Luke 24:27, 44

Until Jesus’ early disciples understood the Old Testament, including the Psalms, they were blind to what Jesus had accomplished and why he had to suffer.

We have the breadth of human experience in the Psalms modeling how God’s people can rightly approach him.  Keep that in mind when the Psalms even shock us.

· Praise – Ps 29, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.  Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name – It’s impossible to understand God and not praise him.

· Lament – Psalm 3, O LORD, how many are my foes!  Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, ‘There is no salvation for him in God.’ – It’s not wrong to call urgently to God in the middle of your pain, it would be wrong not to.

· Royal – Psalm 45, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.  The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of justice. – we need to desire Jesus’ power and authority, not yearn for manmade substitutes.

· Thanksgiving – Psalm 138, I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the ‘gods’ I will sing your praise. – under the old covenant God’s people regularly forgot his goodness to them, under the new covenant, we can be a thankful people.

· Wisdom – Psalm 37, Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. – wisdom is often despised in our culture, but wisdom brings life.

· Songs of Ascent – Psalm 121, I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. – these are songs God’s people sang when going up to worship at Jerusalem.  

So, be enriched, corrected, and instructed by the Psalms.