"STUDIES IN THE PSALMS" Introduction To Studying The Psalms INTRODUCTION 1. The value of the Old Testament to the Christian is mentioned several times in the New Testament: "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." -- Ro 15:4 "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." -- 1 Co 10:11 "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. "All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: "That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." -- 2 Ti 3:15-16 2. Of all the books of the Old Testament, these statements are especially true in regards to the Book of Psalms 3. The value of the Psalms to the Christian is so great, every Christian should do whatever they can to become more familiar with them. [The purpose of this study is to help one do just that! Aside from what has already been said...] I. WHY STUDY THE PSALMS? A. WE ARE COMMANDED AS CHRISTIANS TO USE THE PSALMS IN OUR SINGING AND TEACHING... 1. "speaking to one another in PSALMS and hymns and spiritual songs..." - Ep 5:19 2. "...teaching and admonishing one another in PSALMS and hymns and spiritual songs" - Co 3:16 3. "Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms." - Ja 5:13 B. THEY ARE USEFUL FOR TEACHING AND CONFIRMING THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST (MESSIAH)... 1. Notice Jesus' use of the Psalms in Lk 24:44-47 2. Peter likewise used them in his first gospel sermon - Ac 2: 25-28,34-35 C. AS ONE READS THROUGH THE PSALMS, HE FINDS... 1. "expressed the eager yearning and longing for God's presence" 2. "prayers and songs of joyous trust and praise" 3. Every emotion known to man expressed in beautiful and inspired terms (e.g., joy, anger, praise, repentance, trust, even doubt) D. THE PSALMS ARE THEREFORE CAPABLE OF BEING THE CHRISTIAN'S... 1. "hymnal" 2. "prayer book" 3. "book of Christian evidences" 4. "training guide for living justly and righteously before God" [With these thoughts in mind, let's examine more closely the aim of this particular study...] II. WHAT IS THE AIM OF OUR STUDY? A. TO BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH OLD TESTAMENT POETRY... 1. Essential to getting more out the Psalms 2. Important to avoid misinterpreting the Psalms B. TO DEVELOP AN APPRECIATION AND WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF THE PSALMS... 1. So one may them for his or her comfort and encouragement 2. And to use them in counseling and comforting others C. TO GLEAN A CLEARER PICTURE OF GOD'S CHARACTER FROM THE PSALMS... 1. His love, mercy and deliverance towards the righteous 2. His wrath and judgment against the wicked D. TO LEARN MORE OF THE CHRIST IN PROPHECY... 1. Descriptions of His suffering and glorious reign are found in the Psalms 2. Some of which are not found elsewhere in Scripture E. TO SEE IN FULFILLED PROPHECY AN IRREFUTABLE ARGUMENT FOR... 1. The inspiration of the Scriptures 2. The claim that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah CONCLUSION 1. These are just a few of the reasons why the Book of Psalms should be read and studied by every Christian 2. Hopefully this study will help to meet some of these objectives!