All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

The Value of Psalms to Christians:

Background Material –

1.      Psalms –

The original Hebrew word for the title of this book of inspired songs was “Tehillim”, which means “praises’’. The Greek word, from which we derive our English title is, “Psalmos” and it takes into consideration the original concept of these inspired writings being set to the lyre of harp, and means “to pluck”.

This final definition was something that the Apostle to the Gentiles was well aware of, and explains the additional instruction for Christians to sing them from the heart; as the only instrument they should use – Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.


2.     History –

The oldest of the Psalms originated with Moses – Approx. 1300 BC.

Exodus 15:1-18; Psalms 72:12-14 – A song of triumph following the crossing of the Red Sea.

Deuteronomy 32:1-43 – A song of exhortation to keep the Law after entering Canaan.

Psalms 90 – God’s greatness and the frailty of man.

The newest of the Psalms was written some 600 or more years later – Psalms 137; which deals with the children of Israel in captivity.

In between these two points of historical reference are many peaks and valleys. It achieved a peak under the rule of king David, with many of the Psalms penned by him, a valley under Solomon, who fathered the age of Proverbs, and another peak during the reign of the kings Jehoshaphat 875 BC to Hezekiah 725 BC (as about 48 misc. Psalms written during this time).

3.     Authors –

As I have stated in the first introduction, we have to recognize first that the Holy Spirit of God is the Author of the Psalms, before we can acknowledge the human agency by which He worked – 2 Samuel 32:2; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21.

King David – Approx. 73 Psalms

Asaph – music director under David and Solomon – Approx. 12 Psalms

Sons of Korah – a family of Levites that served in the temple – Approx. 12 Psalms

King Solomon – Approx. 2 Psalms (72 & 127); however, see: 1 Kings 4:29-32

Moses – Psalms 90

Heman – A contemporary of David and Asaph – Psalms 88

Ethan – A companion of Asaph and Heman – Psalms 89

Anonymous – Approx. 48 Psalms


4.      Arrangement –

The book is not arranged by author or date, but more by the content and purpose. It is composed by the arrangement of five books:

Book 1 1-41

Book 2 42-72

Book 3 73-89

Book 4 90-106

Book 5 107-150


5.     Styles –

The Psalms have many varied styles of order used to promote the content within, note:

Acrostic – These are Psalms arranged by using the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters. They promote the concept of covering a subject, as we would say, “From A to Z”.

Psalms 25, 34, 37, 111, 112, 145 – a special Acrostic Psalm is 119 (where 8 verses are attributed to each letter); and see also Lamentations 3, which is written in acrostic triplets.

Ethical – these are Psalms that dwell on moral principal, like Psalms 15.

Hallelujah – These are Psalms of praise, either beginning or ending with Hallelujah or praise Jehovah, like Psalms 103-104.

Historical – These are Psalms that review God’s dealings with His people, like Psalms 106.

Imprecatory – These are songs imploring the wrath of God on evil men, or the enemies of God’s people, like Psalms 5, 69. 

Messianic – These are Psalms pertaining specifically to the coming, or work of God’s Messiah, like Psalms 2, 22.

Penitent – These are Psalms expressing godly sorrow for sins committed against God, like Psalms 51.

Songs of Ascent – These are songs for traveling pilgrims as they travel back and forth to Jerusalem to worship, Psalms 120-134.

Suffering – These are songs that cry the afflictions of the overwhelmed, like Psalms 102.

Thanksgiving – Songs of grateful praise to God for blessings understood and received, Like Psalms 100.


Why we should appreciate the Psalms:

1.   The approach to God is always with the utmost reverence.

2.   The worship and praise of God exist in all of them.

3.   In every line, there is trust in God and confidence in His loving care.

4.   We are always aware of God’s presence as we read them.

5.   They stress the joy of being in the house of God and the privilege to worship Him.

6.   They foster and nourish the utmost confidence in God’s provisions.

7.   They exhibit and emphasize appreciation of God’s presence in nature.

8.   The utmost respect and honor for God’s word pervade all the Psalms.

9.   God as the only refuge for our souls is exalted.

10.  God’s mercy, and loving-kindness are revealed as His constant qualities to those who truly seek Him.   


Finally, to the Christian, there is to those who read the Psalms often an almost infinite Christology within the pages. There are at least seventy five direct quotations in the New Testament taken from forty nine different Psalms (which does not even touch all the hints and impressions).

There can be little doubt why we as children of God through Jesus Christ, love to read the Psalms!