Emotion · Genre · King David · Poetry · Psalms · Relevance · Theology

5 Quick Tips for Understanding the Psalms

When we think of Psalms, we think of comfort. But the Psalms are so much more than that. They provide a wealth of emotion, theology, and information. Here are five quick tips on what to think about while reading the Psalms.

  1. A Variety of Authors: When we think about who the Psalms are written by, we  atomically think about David, the King of the Israelites. While David wrote most of the Psalms, there are a variety of authors who also contributed to the book. 
  2. Genre: If I asked you what the Psalms were about, most likely you would answer comfort or praise. The largest genre found in the Psalms is actually lament. There are also genres which include thanksgiving, wisdom, trust, and what we call royal Psalms.
  3. Emotion and Theology: There is a lot of emotion in the Psalms. The Psalms do a great job at teaching us how to both have emotions, but control them in the light of God’s truth. God gave us emotions, we should not be emotionless. But we should handle them in the self-control of what God expects of us. The Psalms teach us how to do that.
  4. Poetic in Nature: The Psalms are poetic in nature. This means that sometimes things that are written are illustrations, not direct commands. Psalm 42:1 says, “as a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.” Of course what God doesn’t want is a physically fluttering heart. He wants our desire for Him to be as strong  as a deer in a desert seeking out fresh water.
  5. The Psalms as Relevant: Too many churches or pastors today don’t see the Old Testament as relevant. If we understand all of the points above, the Psalms are of great relevance. In fact, because of their emotional and theological nature, they can do things for us that other books of the Bible can’t do. They can speak for us in both of those ways when we don’t have the words to do it ourselves.

Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes  or Googleplay.