What is the theme for the book of Psalms?

Author: BibleAsk Team

The Theme for the Book of Psalms

The theme for the book of Psalms reflects man reaching to God for help and God’s hand extended to rescue man from his troubles. This book has provided material for prayer, supplication and praise for both private and public devotions.

In these holy poems, we hear the petition, not only of the Hebrew, but of mankind, raised up to God for deliverance, and see the hand of the Creator reaching down to bring help and comfort. Throughout history, for the Jew and Gentile, the Psalms provided models for private prayer and for public worship; it has been used in the formal ceremonies for the Hebrew Temple and synagogue, as the hymnbook of the New Testament church, and as the prayer book for God’s children in their private devotions.

A significant part of the worship in the Temple was dedicated to singing the psalms by choirs and by the congregation. According to the Mishnah and the Talmud, a psalm was dedicated to each day of the week, to be sung after the daily sacrifice when the drink offering was being poured. David gave a psalm “to thank the Lord” to Asaph and his brethren when he brought the ark into the newly tent in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 16:7–36).

Certain psalms were chosen as suitable for the great feasts: Ps. 113–118 for Passover; Ps. 118 for Pentecost, Tabernacles, and the Dedication; Ps. 30 for the Dedication; and Ps. 120–134 for the first night of Tabernacles.

The Psalms Present Facets of Man’s Relationship With God

  1. The earnest soul can seek the greatest blessing of being in the Creator’s presence and away from the world’s troubles. “My soul longs, yea, even faints for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Ps. 84:2).
  2. God’s infinite love for His children. “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Ps. 86:15).
  3. True religion is having a joyous experience with God, “I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart” (Ps. 9:1).
  4. Thanksgiving should always accompany supplication. “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Ps. 9:1).
  5. The study of nature helps man to see that God is the Sovereign over all things. And this knowledge inspires the believer with hope for deliverance. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).
  6. God’s deliverances to His children in the past prove that He will also continue to deliver them in the future. “Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens…Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains… You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings” (Ps. 36:5-7).
  7. Righteousness has its rewards. Thus, to live a godly life on earth is more beneficial than to live an ungodly life. “The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me” (Ps. 18:20).
  8. It is the privilege and duty of God’s children to witness His salvation to others. “I will praise you, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will show forth all your marvelous works” (Ps. 9:1).
  9. Hardships, suffering, and sickness are part of God’s saving plan. “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes” (Ps. 119:71).
  10. In God’s government, “mercy and truth are met together” (Ps. 85:10). Thus, the law and the gospel walk hand in hand in perfect harmony.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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