How often you check the weather forecast? I find myself doing this often to be prepared for rain, sleet, wind or storms. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an app giving a forecast for the real storms of life? Although no such app exists we do know that storms are a part of life. In our series from the book of Psalms we will learn that God provides shelter from life’s storms. He does not just provide shelter, God is our shelter.
At the center of the Bible is the book of Psalms. This great collection of songs and prayers expresses the heart and soul of humanity. In them we find the whole range of human experiences expressed.
Dr. J Vernon McGee has written, “Someone has said that there are 126 psychological experiences, I don’t know how they arrived at that number, but I do know that all of them are recorded in the Book of Psalms. It is the only book which contains every experience of a human being. The Psalms run the psychological gamut. Every thought, every impulse, every emotion that sweeps over the soul is recorded in this book.”
I’m grateful to John Piper for compiling this list of emotions found in the Psalms:
- Loneliness: “I am lonelyand afflicted” (Psalms 25:16).
- Love: “I loveyou, O Lord, my strength” (Psalms 18:1).
- Awe: “Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in aweof him” (Psalms 33:8).
- Sorrow: “My life is spent with sorrow” (Psalms 31:10).
- Regret: “I am sorryfor my sin” (Psalms 38:18).
- Contrition: “A broken and contriteheart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalms 51:17).
- Discouragement and turmoil: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoilwithin me” (Psalms 42:5)?
- Shame: “Shamehas covered my face” (Psalms 44:15).
- Exultation: “In your salvation how greatly he exults” (Psalms 21:1).
- Marveling: “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelousin our eyes” (Psalms 118:23).
- Delight: “His delightis in the law of the Lord” (Psalms 1:2).
- Joy: “You have put more joyin my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound” (Psalms 4:7).
- Gladness: “I will be gladand exult in you” (Psalms 9:2).
- Fear: “Serve the Lord with fear” (Psalms 2:11).
- Anger: “Be angry, and do not sin” (Psalms 4:4).
- Peace: “In peaceI will both lie down and sleep” (Psalms 4:8).
- Grief: “My eye wastes away because of grief” (Psalms 6:7).
- Desire: “O Lord, you hear the desireof the afflicted” (Psalms 10:17).
- Hope: “Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hopein you” (Psalms 33:22).
- Brokenheartedness: “The Lord is near to the brokenheartedand saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalms 34:18).
- Gratitude: “I will thankyou in the great congregation” (Psalms 35:18).
- Zeal: “Zealfor your house has consumed me” (Psalms 69:9).
- Pain: “I am afflicted and in pain” (Psalms 69:29).
- Confidence: “Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident” (Psalms 27:3).
More explicitly than all the other books in the Bible, the Psalms are designed to awaken and shape our emotions in line with the instruction they give.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus was crucified, but the Psalms tell us what went on in His own heart during the Crucifixion. The Gospels tell us He went back to heaven, but the Psalms begin where the Gospels leave off and show us Christ seated in heaven.
There are sixteen messianic psalms that speak specifically about Christ, but all 150 of point to Christ. “The Book of Psalms is a hymnbook and a HIM book — it is all about Him.”
“Out of 219 quotations of the Old Testament in the New Testament, 116 of them are from the Psalms,” says Dr. McGee.
Psalms has the more chapters of any book in the bible.
Purpose of Psalms: To provide poetry for the expression of praise, worship, and confession to God
Authors: David wrote 73 psalms; Asaph wrote 12; the sons of Korah wrote 9; Solomon wrote 2; Heman (with the sons of Korah), Ethan, and Moses each wrote one; 51 psalms are anonymous. The New Testament ascribes two of the anonymous psalms (Psalms 2 and 95) to David (see Acts 4:25; Hebrews 4:7).
Date Written: Between the time of Moses (approximately 1440 B.C.) and the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.)
Christ (the Messiah) is prominent throughout. The King and the Kingdom are the theme songs of the Psalms.
The key word in the Book of Psalms is Hallelujah, that is, Praise the Lord. This phrase has become a Christian cliché, but it is one that should cause a swelling of great emotion in the soul. Hallelujah, praise the Lord!
Different types of psalms were written to communicate different feelings and thoughts regarding a psalmist’s situation.
Psalms of Lament express the author’s crying out to God in difficult circumstances. Psalms of Praise, also called hymns, portray the author’s offering of direct admiration to God. Thanksgiving psalms usually reflect the author’s gratitude for a personal deliverance or provision from God. Other types of psalms are referred to today as Wisdom psalms.
Did you know that Psalms is found at the center of your bible?
The very center of the Bible when measured by chapter count is Psalms 118.
Here are some other fun facts surrounding Psalm 118:
- The longest chapter of the Bible falls just after this center chapter– Psalm 119.
- The shortest chapter of the Bible falls just after this center chapter– Psalm 117.
- There are exactly 594 chapters before Psalm 118, and exactly 594 chapters after it. When you add the number of chapters before Psalms 118 and those after, the sum is 1,118. And the verse at the very center of the Bible is Psalms 118:8.
The Center Verse
Psalm 118:8 – “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.” (NIV)
God is our refuge and shelter! I hope that you will join us in our series, Storm Shelter.
- The Shelter of God’s Word -Psalm 1
- The Shelter of God’s Leading -Psalm 23
- The Shelter of God’s Presence -Psalm 84
- The Shelter of God’s Power -Psalm 95
The Shelter of God’s Encouragement -Psalm 42
- The Shelter of God’s Forgiveness-Psalm 51
Vernon McGee, Thru The Bible with J. Vernon McGee, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1983), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “PSALMS”.
Life Application Study Bible, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1988), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 841-842.