A collection of songs, hymns, and laments.


Praise the Lord with
lute and harp!
(Psalm 150:3)

Psalms is the Bible's hymnbook.  It contains 150 poetic compositions or "Psalms" that vary widely in content and tone.  The Psalms are arranged in five large sections (Psalms 1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150).  Each section includes several different types of Psalms.

Prayers for Help.  Many Psalms are prayers that God will help an individual or the community. Situations which evoke these prayers include sickness, betrayal, slander, abandonment, sin and guilt. These Psalms give voice to deep human suffering while expressing confidence in God's power to help. Written in deep anguish, Ps 130 says, "Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord, Lord hear my voice."

Songs of Praise.  A number of Psalms give thanks to God. Sometimes the reason is that God has helped the person or community in a time of distress. Other reasons for praise include God's work of creation and his faithfulness to Israel. In tone, Psalm 121 confidently says, "I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 23 expresses quiet trust by saying, "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures." More exuberant is Psalm 150, which closes the book by saying "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!"

Instruction for Life.  A few Psalms offer instruction in the godly life. Psalm 1, for example, says "Blessed are those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked," but who "delight in the law of the Lord." In contrast, the path of wickedness brings destruction. Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm calls God's word "a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

Ps 1 - On true godliness
Ps 23 - The Lord is my shepherd
Ps 100 - Make a joyful noise
Ps 130 - Out of the depths


Select Learning | Copyright |

Photo by Craig Koester.

Self Tests General Knowledge Dates People Books Places Bible Tutor