Book I – Psalms 1:1 – 41:13
While the psalms are not organized by topic, it is helpful to compare the dominant themes in each section of the psalms to the five books of Moses. The first collection of psalms, mainly written by David, is similar to the book of Genesis. Just as Genesis tells how mankind was created, fell into sin, and was promised redemption, many of these psalms discuss humans blessed, fallen, and redeemed by God.
Book II – Psalms 42:1 – 72:20
This collection of psalms, mainly written by David and the sons of Korah, is similar to the book of Exodus. Just as Exodus describes the nation of Israel, many of these psalms describe the nation as ruined and then recovered. As God rescued the nation of Israel, he also rescues us. We do not have to work out solutions first, but we can go to God with our problems and ask him to help.
Book III – Psalms 73:1 – 89:52
This collection of psalms, mainly written by Asaph or Asaph’s descendants, is similar to the book of Leviticus. Just as Leviticus discusses the tabernacle and God’s holiness, many of these psalms discuss the temple and God’s enthronement. Because God is almighty, we can turn to him for deliverance. These psalms praise God because he is holy and his perfect holiness deserves our worship and reverence.
Book IV – Psalms 90:1 – 106:48
This collection of psalms, mainly written by unknown authors, is similar to the book of Numbers. Just as Numbers discusses the relationship of the nation if Israel to surrounding nations, these psalms often mention the relationship of god’s overruling kingdom to the other nations. Because we are citizens of the kingdom of God, we can keep the events and troubles of earth in their proper perspective.
Book V – Psalms 107:1 – 150:6
This collection of psalms, mainly written by David, is similar to the book of Deuteronomy. Just as Deuteronomy was concerned with God and his Word, these psalms are anthems of praise and thanksgiving for God and his Word. Most of the psalms were originally set to music and used in worship. We can use these psalms today as they were used in the past, as a hymnbook of praise and worship. This is a book that ought to make our hearts sin.
To provide poetry for the expression of praise, worship, and confession to God.
Between the time of Moses (around 1440 B.C.) and the Babylonian Captivity (586 B.C.).
For the most part, they were not intended to be narrations of historical events. However, they often parallel events in history, such as David’s flight from Saul and his sin with Bathsheba.
To download a PDF outline of the Psalms click here.
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